Friday, July 17, 2009

A Dim Day, Brilliant Flowers, and lots of Dead Deer Flies

Whoever invented these deerfly patches deserves some kind of medal. Here are more than 45 nasty biters that got just one chance to land on my head and that was that! With each fly I could hear the bzzzooom just once near my ear, and then . . . Oh blessed silence! No more knocking myself silly swatting the top of my head, again, again, and again.

Well, once again, rain, rain, rain. But I didn't let it stop me (except for a five-minute downpour and thunder rumbler, which I waited out in my car). Since I don't like to paddle in rainstorms, this was a good day to try out my new deerfly patches on Bog Meadow Trail, a notorious feasting site for those pestiferous inventions of the devil. And the trail was lush and lovely, as green as in spring from all the rain, rain, rain we've had this summer.

Though the day was dim, there were brilliant splashes of color along the trail, especially the stretch that passes through forested wetlands. Here, Canada Lilies (Lilium canadense) dangled their showy lanterns in the shaded woods. Some glowed yellow and some glowed orange, and here was a patch where lilies of both colors bloomed right next to each other. See the orange ones right behind these bright yellow ones.

And here's a better look at a brilliant orange one. Wow, but that is one gorgeous lily!

Nor were the mushrooms to be outshone. This round yellow disk (I think it's an Amanita of some sort) looked like a little sun along the path.

In just a few days, these Chokecherries (Prunus virginiana) will darken to almost black, but today their dangling fruits were as rosy and bright as the day was dark and damp.

Some flowers were easy to overlook, their pale colors almost invisible in today's dim light. From above, this little orchid called Helleborine (Epipactus helleborine) looks as green as its leaves, but tip its face up, and you can see its faintly pink petals.

Out in the open marsh, this Blue Marsh Bellflower (Campanula uliginosa) was easier to see, even though it's quite small (its flower is about a half inch long). From a distance, the flowers on their sprawling stems look white, but up close you can see they are tinted pale blue.

Wouldn't it be nice to see a sky of blue? For days at a time, I mean. My hiking shoes are as soggy as my boat shoes, and there's seldom a full day's sun to dry them in. Maybe Sunday, they say. Let's hope.


Ellen Rathbone said...

What beautiful lilies!!! You come across such wonderful variety in your travels. Either I'm just not seeing the flowers, or we simply don't have as many up here.

Woodswalker said...

Hi Ellen. I have a little secret to confess. I don't just "come across" all these flowers by happenstance. Wildflower nerd that I am, I've spent about 15 years obsessively prowling all likely spots and have recorded dates and places where I found plants. Then I return each year to see if I can find them again. Often I do, sometimes I don't, and now and then I find new ones to add to my flower journal. But I do believe that Saratoga County has a remarkable number of special places for flower-finding. Like the Skidmore Woods, the Hudson River at Moreau, the Bog Meadow Nature Trail, Orra Phelps, and the Woods Hollow Nature Preserve.

catharus said...

Lovely lilies!
Where do you get the deer fly patches?

Woodswalker said...

Thanks, catharus. I found a place on the web that sells those deer fly traps. Go to and look for Tred-Not deer fly traps. Man, what a difference they make! Worth every penny of the 50 cents or so they cost.