Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Scrambling Around the River's Rocks, Part II

After taking in the beauty to be found on Bear's Bathtub (see last post), Jackie and I made our way through the woods to another splendid promontory on the Hudson River I call Rippled Rocks Point. We didn't have the sunshine today that the above photo of the point displays (I took it almost exactly one year ago), but we did find lots of colorful plants nestling among the rocks. And here's a fascinating thing: many of them were tinged with red in unexpected ways or with remarkable intensity. We wondered if there was some mineral in the soil - perhaps iron -that caused the plants to take on these rufous hues. Here are a few examples.

Once again, as on Bear's Bathtub, the Wintergreen leaves have taken on a decidedly burgundy hue. I wonder if this might have something to do with exposure to sun, since the woodland plants are all green, while the ones growing out on the exposed rocks tend toward the red.

Most strawberry leaves turn red in autumn, but I was impressed by the intense color of the red runners.

Blueberry buds are always red, but this bush has vividly red twigs as well.

I don't know what this swirly grass is called, but note the red tendrils among the flaxen.

Update, Nov. 20: From looking at Seabrooke Leckie's blog, The Marvelous in Nature, I have learned that this grass is most likely Poverty Oat Grass (Danthonia spicata). Thanks, Seabrooke!

Little Bluestem Grass usually has snowy white seed-fluff. This plant's fluff is more pinky-tan than white.

Even some of the rocks out here are decidedly pink. This rock is mostly covered with greenish lichens, except for this distinctly rosy patch.

1 comment:

Jackie Callahan said...

I love the strawberry leaves and their brilliant red runners, so poetic!