Finally! I was able to get out into the woods yesterday afternoon after having spent all morning and early afternoon first working on my yard and then my Mom’s yard. And I was hoping, based on the past dates in my Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide that I would be able to find some of my favorite spring flowers in bloom. And we did! Yay!
We were so excited to spy some lovely little patches of Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
I *love* this flower. And in New York State this plant is listed as Exploitably Vulnerable :(
And then we spied tons of Trout Lilies or Yellow Adder’s Tongue or Dogtooth Violet (Erythronium americanum) (don’t you love all of the common names).
You can see the brown mottling on the leaves.
And then another favorite of mine, Cut-leaved Toothwort or Pepperroot (Dentaria laciniata), and you can see where both the common name and latin names come from by this next photo:
Here’s one with a white flower and a little bee pollinating it:
And one with pinkish flowers:
This next flower I know is a Hepatica (Hepatica nobilis), but I’m not sure whether it is a sharp-lobed or blunt-lobed since I didn’t look at the leaves (bad Pam).
Another favorite of mine, and one of the 100 herbs I had to learn inside and out, Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)
I love the way the leaves come up (and don’t you love the way they poke right through the dried tree leaves)?
I love the leaves when they’re unfolded:
And, of course, I have to show the coolest parts, the spathe and spadix (the spathe being the outer hood and the spadix the knob-shaped cluster inside of it).
We also saw Marsh Marigolds or Cowslip (Caltha palustris) but it was too early for their blossoms:
(sorry no closeups, I wasn’t prepared to go into the water, and I don’t really know how deep it is).
There’s a platform at the edge of the swamp that you can watch and listen to all kinds of birds. I accidentally flushed out a turkey, but didn’t capture a photo of it. Here’s last year’s cattails:
And I spied some eyeballs, can you see them?
Here’s a crop of this photo so you can see the eyeballs a little better:
There’s tons of frogs here.
We tried finding sunning turtles, but I guess we were too late in the day for them. We did see a couple of snakes, but I was only able to capture this Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis):
I love snakes! You can also see how profuse the Trout-Lilies are here, along with the Cut-Leaved Toothwort. And I love my new book The Amphibians and Reptiles of New York State because I don’t have to weed through a million species! (P.S. Mary, you’ve *got* to check out the cover of this book)!
Another one of my favorites, moss around the base of a tree in the swamp:
And a burl. I would love to see the inside of it.
And you know I can’t walk through the woods without photographing fungus:
That’s basically it! Except for all of the tremendous sounds in the woods – the bird calls, peepers, etc. We couldn’t have picked a better day to go into the woods! I used to walk through these woods every day, and I miss them very much!
P.S. And for the record, it was 86 degrees F today. Yes, in April. Very unusual for this time of year.