Saturday, June 29, 2013

Officially a Wildflower Geek

This morning, I returned for the third time in two weeks to a damp field just to try to catch a plant in bloom.

And since the plant was not yet in bloom, I will be making a fourth trip very soon.

I first saw this little patch of budding lilies two weeks ago when I was participating in a walk organized by the Friends of the Kayaderosseras at Gray's Crossing in Saratoga County. I wasn't sure then what kind of lilies these were. Could they be Wood lily, Turk's cap, or Canada lilies?

I am fairly certain now that they are Canada lilies, but I will still be going back to verify this. And for another thing, the flower color can vary in these plants. Will these be yellow? Or red?

If they are Canada lilies, they will be contributing to a very Canadian theme in this field of wildflowers.  For at least two weeks, the Canada anemone have been putting on a great show here (see above and below).

Despite the lack of opened lily blooms, plenty of other plants were strutting there stuff. I think this is yellow bedstraw, below.

This purple cow vetch was glowing in the early morning sun.

 I think this yellow-flowered plant below is wild parsnip, which, I believe, is an invasive.

Lovely milkweed, the food of monarch butterflies, was showing its fresh ruddy pink blooms.

And in a shady spot, a few dame's rockets lingered still, with dewy faces.

A few critters were up and about. The mown grass trail was full of snails.

The warming sun brought this blue and brown dragon fly out to bask on a bare  branch.

Unfortunately, the rising sun lures out other creatures, as well. Garter snakes also like to lay out along the mown trail and soak up some early morning rays. I have been to this meadow so often in the last two weeks that I now know where the snakes are likely to be. Still, I do not like meeting them but I am getting resigned to it. Blah blah blah, I know, they are a sign of a healthy ecosystem and all that. Can't they go be healthy somewhere that I am not?

Wild chervil isn't a healthy sign (it's invasive) but golly it has a pretty rose and green fern-like leaf.

This particular meadow at Gray's Crossing is about half-way between my oldest sister's house and mine. My sister is ill and has become increasingly disabled over the last eighteen months. On Friday nights, I cook her dinner and stay over-night with her. It is emotionally draining to watch a loved one struggle with a difficult disease. When I leave her house on Saturday mornings, Gray's Crossing lures me in to walk and breath in - life. I am seeing even snails and snakes with new eyes. After my walk, refreshed with the sights and sounds and scents of a summer meadow, I am ready to go home again.