Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Ice Meadows Once Again!

Don't I ever get tired of visiting the Ice Meadows again and again?  Nope, not a bit, there's so much to see in a spectacularly beautiful setting, and besides, today some of my favorite flower friends were also going to go there.  Would I like to join them?   Well, I guess!

We met at our usual meeting place, the "seepy area" on the west side of the Hudson River north of Warrensburg, and clambered about on the rocks and around the pools, looking for some of the rarities that are known to grow there and generally enjoying this beautiful, if extremely windy, day.

Many of the flowers that had been in full bloom a week ago were starting to go to seed.  In the case of Sticky Tofieldia, the rosy-red seeds are just as pretty as the flowers, but what struck us as odd today was the way new flower growth was sprouting down lower on the stems beneath the seed heads.  I guess it decided it hadn't yet had enough of the growing season.

Here's a plant, Horned Bladderwort, that was barely in bloom last week, but which today had fully opened its flowers, displaying its distinctive long spur.  Unlike most of the bladderworts common around here, this one does not float on the water but stands attached to the damp sand, its bladders buried beneath.  I don't know how they can use their bladders to suck in nutrients down there, but I guess they must manage somehow.

Another plant that likes it damp is pretty Pickerelweed, raising its purple spikes in the little pools among the rocks.

Another denizen of damp sand is Monkey Flower, showing its bright blue face to us today.

Not yet in bloom but just as pretty in bud is Joe-Pye Weed.  Actually, even prettier when in bud.

When I saw this tiny St. Johnswort today, I realized I had made a mistake identifying it last week, when I was here with the Thursday Naturalists.  I had called it Dwarf St. Johnswort, when it's actually Canada St. Johnswort, distinguished by its very narrow leaves as well as by blood-red buds.

 Here's the Dwarf St. Johnswort, even tinier of flower and much rounder of leaf, and with green buds.
This one was also in bloom on the Ice Meadows today, right next to the Canada.

I don't know the name of this sedge, I just thought it looked interesting.  This riverside site is well known for its many species of sedge, some of them quite rare.

Those fluffy-caterpillar-like things sharing a shallow pool with this frog (Mink or Green?) are the underwater leaves of Flat-leaved Bladderwort, which I have yet to find in bloom.  I think I would have to look earlier in spring for the flowers of this one.

In the course of the day we visited three other sites along the west bank of the river, each one as beautiful as the others, with rushing water tumbling over rocks and thick green woods along the banks.  From this site we can see upstream to where Rte. 28 crosses the river at The Glen.


It was while visiting this site that we discovered this pink-and-white Goldenrod Crab Spider perfectly camouflaged to match the pink-and-white flowers of Spreading Dogbane.  If this very same spider were hiding in Butterflyweed, it would change its coloration to bright yellow with orange stripes.

Aha!  I've been looking for this Eyelash Cup Fungus  (Scutellinia scutellata) for several years, and I found it today here in the woods leading down to the river.  It's always close to a miracle to find this tiny fungus, since the largest of these pictured was hardly bigger than the head of a pin.

More than a year ago I received a letter from a French scientist doing research on the genus Scutellinia asking me if I would send him specimens of Eyelash Cup from my part of the world.  Well sure I would, IF I could ever find it again.  And today I did.  I wonder if he still wants it?

It surely astounded me to be sought out by a scientist that far away.  He said he had seen my blog, with its photo of this Eyelash Cup Fungus in the right-hand photo column, and he hoped I might be able to provide him with some specimens from northeastern North America.  I must say, this internet is amazing!


Steve Young said...

We got a request for some rock-cress seeds from a German botanist who saw our conservation guide on the web. The world is now very small information-wise.

happyone said...

Such a wide selection of plants. Love all your photos. My mom and step-dad live in Indian lake which isn't that far from Warrensburg.

Jeff Nadler said...

So nice to have this uncommon habitat so close to home. Superb photography.

hikeagiant2 said...

Hard to believe it's the same spider that you found on the Butterfly weed! Great photo!

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Thanks, dear readers, for your most welcome comments. I love knowing you like to come along on my adventures.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos and very useful! We've just started exploring our property along the ice meadows and you helped us identify some flowers. Here is a link to what we found yesterday (I have to bring a macro lens next time.)