Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Old Friends and a New Flower

I found a new flower today! After all these years of wildflower hunting, finding a new one doesn't happen very often, so of course I let out a little whoop and did a little dance. Yippee! I was walking today with my ailing friend and had chosen the Lake Lonely Trail just outside of town for its easy terrain and its multitudinous birds. My friend is an avid birder and not much interested in wildflowers, so I'm sure he was puzzled by all my hoopla over what looked like an ordinary old buttercup. But then, how could he have known that this is a special buttercup? Special to me, anyway, since I'd never seen it before. It's called Yellow Water Buttercup (Ranunculus flabellaris) and it was growing profusely in the water-filled ditch that lined the trail.

There were also old flower friends in bloom today, including one I hadn't found for several years, the Wild Black Currant.

I used to find this plant along the Bog Meadow Trail, which, like the Lake Lonely Trail we walked on today, forms part of a network of nature preserves throughout the county protected for posterity by the land trust organization, Saratoga P.L.A.N.

I sure wish there were some way to protect our viburnums from the devastation wrought by this nasty little larva of the Viburnum Leaf Beetle. I was saddened to see the skeletonized leaves of Highbush Cranberry and Arrowwood shrubs all along the trail.

These pretty Golden Ragworts cheered me up.

As did a spreading patch of Wood Betony growing along a country road.

After walking parts of the Lake Lonely Trail, we took a drive through the hills above Saratoga Lake, and stopped to explore a roadside where I've found these unusual flowers growing for several years. And I'm happy to say there are more there this year than ever before. Again I say, Yippee!

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