Monday, June 19, 2017

Plants Along the Powerline

 Again, not the nicest day for a walk, with thunder rumbling and big drops splashing against my windshield as I made my way to a powerline clearcut along Spier Falls Road at Moreau.  So I parked my car close to where I hoped to find Greenish-flowered Pyrola (Pyrola chlorantha) among the mosses and pine needles under the wires.  In other years, this is where I had found some, but always a little worse for wear, so this year I hoped to find it in its prime.  And I was not disappointed.

Greenish-flowered Pyrola is not a rare plant in New York, but I find it much less often than I do the white-flowered species of Pyrola called Shinleaf.  So I was glad to have found a reliable location where I can revisit this native wildflower every year.  And this year, it was looking better than I had seen it before.

The reproductive parts of Pyrolas are quite distinctive, with a long curving style that extends way below the corolla, surrounded by ten stamens that appear to split into two yellow anthers at the tip of each.

I'm glad I was able to photograph the Pyrolas before the clouds opened up to dump drenching buckets on me and my camera.  I did manage to sneak my camera out of my raincoat pocket to take a few more photos of other plants under the powerline.  Masses of Whorled Loosestrife plants (Lysimachia quadrifolia) held their wreaths of small red-centered yellow flowers on thread-fine stalks.

Patches of brilliant-pink Maiden Pinks (Dianthus deltoides) spangled the grass at the edge of the road.  Although this is not a wildflower native to North America, it's hard not to welcome its vivid blooms to these neglected areas of disturbed soil.

It won't be long before bright-orange Wood Lilies (Lilium philadelphicum) open their big gorgeous blooms under the powerlines.  I found just this one plant in bud today, but that doesn't mean there aren't many more hiding among the grasses.  I confess I was getting so soaked at this point, I didn't search very hard for more.

I did stop as I hurried to my car, though, to admire how each leaf of this Wild Lupine plant (Lupinus perennis) held a diamond drop at its center.


Woody Meristem said...

Nice; you're fortunate that the line isn't sprayed with herbicides frequently.

The Furry Gnome said...

Some wonderful water droplets!

Jens Zorn said...

Amazing, as always!