Saturday, September 28, 2013

Colorful Kayaderosseras

Pink Tearthumb
Yet again, my inadequate field notes combined with elapsed time has made a blog post more challenging. Yikes! Can I get these plants labeled correctly?

Earlier this week, our ECOS class ventured forth along the Kayaderosseras Creek near Ballston Spa. It was a spectacular day, with clear skies and a warming sun. I didn't expect to see much floral color this late in the season, but I had a pleasant surprise coming.

The pink tearthumb (that's tear as in rip, not as in boo hoo)  is a small flower but it was plentiful this day at Gray's Crossing. It offered bright jabs of color along the trail.

Even at mid morning, we could still see the moon in the deep blue of the autumn sky.

Our guest instructor this day was Jackie Donnelly of Saratoga Woods and Waterways fame. Jackie asked us to practice keying out a wildflower that was not so easy to identify. The answer is below.
Jerusalem artichoke
Clotbur or cocklebur

Although many flowers have gone by, colorful fruits and interesting seed pods catch the eye.

Pokeweed berries
Velvet leaf

Asters, unidentified variety.
We saw lots of asters but did not attempt to identify them all. Asters are hard, as I have written here before. There are so many of them. This one went unnamed but not unadmired.

Leopard or meadow frog.

This fellow was hoping I couldn't see him among the leaf ruble.

Red oak.
The red oak, the quiet creek, the blue sky ... oh, how I love this time of year!

In a field that has been replanted after some construction work to ease flooding problems, these domestic (I assume) rudbeckias have appeared. Did someone deliberately plant these, or did they ride in on the rootballs of shrubs and trees that were planted here? It's a mystery, but they are happy in this place.
Blue vervain

This is Tall or Green-headed Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata), Jackie tells me.
Now here is where my poor field notes become a problem: What was this plant?  It's blooms have gone by but the seed heads offer colorful interest. Can anyone help?
Update: Jackie Donnelly has sent this information. (See her comment, too.)
The flower you couldn't remember the name of is Tall or Green-headed Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata), and the final sunflower you pictured is called Sawtooth Sunflower (Helianthus grosseserratus), a midwestern species probably introduced with the new plantings. Thanks, Jackie!

I am enjoying this spectacular fall we are having. Isn't it bliss?

This is Sawtooth Sunflower (Helianthus grosseserratus), a midwestern species probably introduced with the new plantings, according to Jackie D.