Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Flowers Are Coming Fast!

So many flowers, so little time! Because a cold and snowy spring delayed the onset of blooming, the wildflowers are now making up for lost time in this lovely warm weather. On Sundays, church duties keep me out of the woods until afternoon, so I had to really scurry to keep up with today's burst-into-bloomers, making a quick run to the Skidmore Woods before heading over to Ballston Spa to circle the pond at Woods Hollow Nature Preserve.

In alphabetical order, here are most of the flowers I found blooming today.

Birch catkins swaying in the breeze

Corn Speedwell, a tiny weed growing along the sidewalk near my home

Dwarf Ginseng, which will bloom for a week or so and then disappear completely

Early Meadow Rue, with staminate flowers dangling like windchimes .
Puffy pistillate flowers were growing on a separate plant nearby.

Goldthread, whose snowy sepals could be mistaken for petals
and whose yellow-jello petals look sort of like anthers

Large-flowered Bellwort usually blooms at least a week later than the
sessile-leaved kind, but this year the two opened their buds the same week.

Leatherleaf has found a boggy shore to its
in one bay of the Woods Hollow pond.

Long-spurred Violet thrives in the Skidmore Woods.
It's pretty evident how it got its name.

Northern White Violet loves wet spots and usually blooms
a bit earlier than the similar Sweet White Violet.

Pellia epiphylla. Not many liverworts, even
common ones like this, have common names.

Shadblow, Serviceberry, Juneberry -- whichever name you
call this first flowering tree of spring, it couldn't be lovelier.

Small-flowered Crowfoot, whose tiny stars
often shine unseen because they are so small

Sweet Fern. These fluffy red female flowers bloom before the male flowers on its own plant do, relying on wind to carry pollen from neighboring plants with open male catkins.

Willow. What kind? Even botanists find this genus confusing.
I'd never seen one so beautifully yellow, and it was fragrant, too.

Not all my finds today were floral. The population of goldfish in the Woods Hollow pond has burgeoned over the years from what was probably just one fishbowl full at first. How startling to see their vivid orange slashing through the green reflections.

This Yellow-rumped Warbler was singing away right over my head, and I should have been able to get a perfect photo of it. I might have, too, if I hadn't just been shooting white flowers and had the camera's exposure shut way down. By the time I caught my error, the bird had flown away. That I managed to capture an image at all speaks volumes about the wonders of computer manipulation.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful array - I delight in the identification and revel in the quest to expand my 'life list' - as always - thanks for the inspiration!

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

And thank YOU, hike/giant, for your kind comment. You seem like someone I would love to walk with.