Spring Woodland Wildflower Sampler

The pace of the greening of the landscape has quickened substantially over the past week.  Please be sure that you seize your opportunities to get out and observe the season’s emergence of new plants and its showy blooms whenever you can.

Yesterday, I visited Anchor-Diamond Park at Hawkwood Estate in the Town of Ballston to continue my wildflower inventory.  It was quite an observational bonanza!  I spied twenty-three additional species (most not blooming) for this property as well as finding several species along trails in addition to where I had originally observed them.

Among the wildflowers in bloom at this time –

Jack-in-the-pulpit

Marsh Marigold

Wake Robin

Small-flowered Crowfoot

Downy Yellow Violet

Yellow Trout Lily

Sessile-leaved Bellwort

Northern Jack-in-the-pulpit

Red-berried Elder

Red Baneberry

American Fly Honeysuckle

Northern Prickly Ash

Northern White Violet

Dwarf Ginseng

Miterwort

Wooly Blue Violet

Happy trails!

Forthcoming Wildflower Guides

Given the near absence of winter thus far, I have continued my wildflower inventories at a few locations.  And those activities have me thinking about spring and the upcoming return of blooming wildflowers throughout the next growing season.

With that in mind, I wanted to offer this sneak peak screen shot of five new wildflower field guides that will be available on this site in March.  Each of these new guides will be in Microsoft PowerPoint Show format (ppsx), featuring easier navigation throughout each document and higher resolution photographs as well as additional information regarding many of the species contained in each guide.  Unfortunately, each of these digital files is much larger than my previous wildflower guides; thus, downloading will take more time.  Those new wildflower guides will include:

  • Ashford Glen Preservea-field-guide-to-wildflowers-ashford-glen-preserve-1st-edition-march2017-chokecherry-sample-page
  • Bauer Environmental Parka-field-guide-to-wildflowers-bauer-environmental-park-1st-edition-march2017-cranberry-viburnum-sample-page
  • Old Iron Spring Fitness Traila-field-guide-to-wildflowers-old-iron-spring-fitness-trail-1st-edition-march2017-fringed-loosestrife-sample-page
  • Peter Desrochers Memorial Country Knolls Trailsa-field-guide-to-wildflowers-peter-desrochers-memorial-country-knolls-trails-1st-edition-march2017-woodland-agrimony-sample-page
  • Zim Smith Traila-field-guide-to-wildflowers-zim-smith-trail-1st-edition-march2017-common-arrowhead-sample-page

Also, please check my updated status of wildflower inventories.  I will be adding one of those destinations (Anchor-Diamond Park at Hawkwood Estatel) as a new page on this site sometime later this year.

In the meantime, view my winter plant ID quiz.

Lastly, a reminder to keep a watchful eye for ticks.  During a winter as mild as this one has been, they remain active.  Last week, I found two while visiting a local preserve!

Happy trails!

Birds and Blooms along Shenantaha

Yesterday was a glorious day to be outside.  I chose to wander some woodland trails along Shenantaha, or what we now refer to as Ballston Creek.

I began my outing at Ballston Creek Preserve and continued my wildflower inventory.  Where a month ago was a carpet of blooming Carolina Spring Beauty, there was now no evidence to suggest that the plant was even present on this property.  Those spring ephemeral wildflowers are like that.  Same with Trout Lily – no evidence to indicate that they, too, are a common resident here.  The lone species that I spied as a new entry on my inventory was this beautiful, albeit invasive, plant –

Yellow Iris

Yellow Iris

While standing at the edge of the marsh at the end of Pat’s Trail, I surveyed this expanse to see what other “new arrivals” were occupying the many nests in the dead trees.

Heron rookery in meadow along Ballston Creek

Heron rookery in meadow along Ballston Creek

Every heron nest appeared to have at least one occupant awaiting its feeding.

Great Blue Heron adult with 3 nestlings

Great Blue Heron adult with 3 nestlings

I was unable to view any such occupants of the lone Osprey nest, but both parents obliged with this photo op –

Osprey pair in nest in marsh along Ballston Creek

Osprey pair in nest in marsh along Ballston Creek

I then backtracked to the small parking lot at the entrance to Shenantaha Creek Park.  From there, I continued my outing on the woodland trails at this park.

I found several species in bloom –

Maple-leaved Viburnum

Maple-leaved Viburnum

Bush Honeysuckle

Bush Honeysuckle

Large Blue Flag

Large Blue Flag

Purple-flowering Raspberry on shale bedrock cliff face along Shenantaha

Purple-flowering Raspberry on shale bedrock cliff face along Shenantaha

Branching Bur Reed

Branching Bur Reed

Yellow Iris

Yellow Iris

I also found a few new entries for my inventory at this property.  All in all, a productive as well as therapeutic outing.

Happy trails!

A parade of woodland blooms

Today I continued my wildflower inventories at Ballston Creek Preserve, Shenantaha Creek Park and Veterans Memorial Park.

What a difference a little rain, warmer temperatures and a little sunshine can make!  I added several species to each destination’s total count and enjoyed the serene spring landscape of each.  Many songbirds serenaded each of my visits.  A truly great day to be in the woods.

The carpet of blooming Carolina Spring Beauty at Ballston Creek Preserve is now at peak.  At several points along Pat’s Trail, you can easily smell the wonderful fragrance of those petite pink-striated blooms.  Stop by soon if you want to witness this colorful and aromatic experience!

My hike at Shenantaha Creek Park was a wildflower menagerie…

Barren Strawberry

Barren Strawberry

Wake Robin

Wake Robin

Dutchman's Breeches

Dutchman’s Breeches

Bloodroot

Bloodroot

Canadian Wild Ginger

Canadian Wild Ginger

Trout Lily

Trout Lily

Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Cut-leaved Toothwort

Cut-leaved Toothwort

Northern Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Northern Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Smooth Yellow Violet

Smooth Yellow Violet

Toothwort

Toothwort

American Fly Honeysuckle

American Fly Honeysuckle

Blue Cohosh

Blue Cohosh

Early Meadow Rue

Early Meadow Rue

Sessile-leaved Bellwort

Sessile-leaved Bellwort

Miterwort

Miterwort

Leatherwood

Leatherwood

Round-lobed Hepatica

Round-lobed Hepatica

Round-lobed Hepatica

Round-lobed Hepatica

 

Concluding my woodland wanderings, I stopped by the Mooney Carrese Forest at Veterans Memorial Park.  While there, I spied these other species…

Golden Saxifrage

Golden Saxifrage

Marsh Marigold

Marsh Marigold

If you have an opportunity to visit a woodland or meadow in the near future, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what is rapidly emerging and beginning to bloom.  Enjoy.

Happy trails!

First wildflower bloom of the forest – 2014

At last!

As I was visually scouring the landscape conducting my wildflower inventory along the woodland trail at Shenantaha Creek Park today, I spied this –

Round-lobed Hepatica

Round-lobed Hepatica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The leaves of several other species are beginning to emerge (Trout Lily, Squirrel Corn, Mouse-ear Chickweed, Common Cinquefoil…).  Even better, I found three Wake Robins that had not only emerged but also had grown about 3″ this past week; two of them already had a flower bud forming as well.  Albeit slowly, things are beginning to take on a green “tinge” as plant life is re-emerging after a rather lengthy winter.

While at the park, I also heard/saw:  American goldfinches, tufted titmouse, black-capped chickadees, white-breasted nuthatches, wood frogs and spring peepers.

Happy trails!

New Content Added – Check out “Area Nature Preserves, Parks and Trails”

I have added more content to this blog, namely a page entitled “Area Nature Preserves, Parks and Trails” that features information about those areas where I have completed or am conducting wildflower inventories.  Check it out.

Please stop back to see updates to this information as well as more content that will be added to this blog.

Hope you find it helpful.

Happy trails!  Happy Groundhog Day!