Due to inclement weather and raging high water, I had missed catching many of my favorite riverside flowers in bloom this summer, but there was no missing these Cardinal Flowers today, blazing away with their blooms of super-saturated red.
Neither were the Buttonbushes hiding their beauty beneath a bushel, but were bursting forth in explosive bloom.
Patches of Pickerelweed were blooming en masse, lifting spikes of splendid purple.
I was lucky enough to catch the Marsh St. Johnswort during its few moments of afternoon bloom, its dainty pink flowers nesting within leaves that were outlined in deep rose.
Well now, finding this solitary Small Floating Bladderwort along this stretch of the Hudson was quite a surprise. I have found many of these state-listed rare bladderworts in the Hudson below the Sherman Island Dam, which is downstream from where I was paddling today, but I have never found them here, above the Sherman Island Dam, or at any other site upstream. How did this one -- and there was only one -- get here? I suppose it could have been carried to this catchment between the Spier Falls and Sherman Island dams by boat trailers that had entered both catchments. At any rate, it was quite a find!
This poor male Calico Pennant dragonfly was lucky that I found him while he was still alive, although I didn't know he was still alive until I started to untangle him from the spider web. Then he began to struggle anew and get even more sticky web on his beautifully patterned wings.
After I worked him free of the snare, I could see that his wings were still tethered to his abdomen by filaments of web. He flapped about ineffectually in the bottom of my canoe, and it became obvious to me that he would never take flight unless I completely rid him of the remnants of web. Of course, he would not sit still for this delicate operation, but I did manage to pull off the rest of the surprisingly strong pieces of sticky web. Then he didn't stick around to thank me but was off in a flash. O happy day!