Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring Progress Report, April 3

 On a quick trip around the county on Tuesday, I noted that the spring flowers continue to progress, despite a string of freezing nights and days barely into the 40s.   My first stop in the morning was the Ballston Creek Preserve, where I found that the woods was just teeming with Spring Beauties, more than I have ever seen before, anywhere.  This photo represents about a square yard of forest floor.  Multiply this number by acres and acres.

 I just can't resist another close-up photo of these exquisite little flowers with their dainty purple stripes.

I found some Hepaticas there as well, although in a much more confined area, just a small patch near the marsh where the herons have their nests.

I almost missed seeing these Ramps, camouflaged as they were by surrounding patches of Trout Lily leaves.  I wish I knew where to find some that are not on nature preserve land, where harvesting is strictly prohibited.

These winter-dried fungi had me fooled for a minute, as I reached for the branch that I thought was blooming with some kind of flower I'd never seen before.

After lunch I walked out through the Skidmore woods, exploring areas where I knew certain flowers would bloom.  It won't be long before these Trout Lily buds open their bright-yellow "tepals"  --  three petals, three sepals of almost identical color and shape, so it's hard to tell which is which.

Nearby, little plants of Wood Anemone had just pushed up through the dead leaf litter, with buds fully formed and ready to open with the next stretch of warm weather.

The Blue Cohosh buds have already opened to reveal their very odd-shaped flowers, the most obvious part of which are the bright yellow anthers clustered in the center around a green pistil.  Those little green worms that circle these reproductive parts are the actual petals of this flower, the outermost purple fringe being the sepals.

Unfortunately, not all aspects of spring are that delightful.  The Deer Ticks are out in full force already, which I discover after almost every walk in the woods.  These are two of the four I found on me yesterday, already embedded in my skin.  I found one more in the dryer's lint screen, after I threw my hiking clothes in there to blast them with tick-killing heat.  Damn!  I wonder why they can't develop Frontline for us humans.


Anonymous said...

dont swear.

Stephen Puliafico Photography said...

I have read that you can use a permetherin spray on your clothes to repel ticks. It will even supposedly last for a couple of washes. I have seen commercially available clothing sprays but I have also read where you can mix your own but I forget the concentration of permethrin that you are supposed to use. If I am not mistaken frontline contains permethrin.

lizzyfin said...

I wouldn't use a pesticide on my clothing. How much of a dose do you or your pets or children need to get sick? How would you know if you're damaging your liver by wearing pesticide-sprayed clothing? Don't assume that the stuff is safe just because somebody else will sell it to ya! Instead, use garlic! Eat a whole clove raw any time you get a tick tag-a-long and you'll be ok. If you don't like garlic, don't panic.
I've read that transmission of bacteria from deer ticks requires 36-48 hours to produce Lyme Disease, so the best prevention is to check your body for ticks when you get home from a hike. Have fun and don't worry about the ticks too much!

Ellen Rathbone said...

Are you sure they are deer ticks and not wood ticks? (Hard to tell scale in your photo.)