The day was clear, the air dry and cool, mosquitoes and black flies were mostly absent, and the forest was filled with beautiful birdsong: Peewee, Red-eyed Vireo, Wood Thrush, Ovenbird, and Black-throated Green Warbler were the ones I recognized, but there were others, too, who sang me on my way. I saw not another soul on the trail, except for this curious Chippie. Hi there, little cutie!
I always forget how long this climb is, but just before I get discouraged, I come to this little stone causeway laid across a stream (thanks to a local mountain-bike club!), and I know I am almost there.
Ah yes, I can see the sky brighten just ahead, and now I find the beaver dam that holds the water of the little stream back until it forms a pool.
And here it is! I call this the Wild Calla Pool, for it's truly chock-full of this Arum Family plant. (Along with some tree snags and sedges, of course, and some lovely clumps of Blue Flag.)
And there they were, the distinctive knobby spadices of Wild Calla, held within their white spathes.
Part of the process of documenting the presence of a species is obtaining GPS coordinates, so I had brought my Garmin device along to do just that. There! Now everyone can know where to find these Wild Callas, too.
I know where to find the wild Blue Flags at much lower elevation, along the Hudson River, but the clumps that grow up here in this mountain air seemed much more abundant. Beautiful!
And here was another find, and quite a surprise! A whole bunch of burry American Chestnut husks littered the shore in one place. Try as I might, I could not find a mature chestnut tree anywhere in the area. Where did all these husks come from? It is really rare for an American Chestnut tree to grow old enough to produce fruit, since most of them die from the chestnut blight long before that. But obviously, one did.