Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Lilies Make a Comeback!

Today was a lucky day!  It didn't seem to start out that way, for I'd intended to go for a paddle on the Hudson, but when I reached the river along Spier Falls Road, the water looked so turgid and muddy from all the recent rains, I really didn't want to risk launching my tiny little canoe onto its raging waters.  So I settled on walking the powerline easement at the top of Mud Pond instead.  And who should I find there already, but my good friend Sue!  Together we walked the dry sandy areas under the poles, searching to see if any Wood Lilies had recovered from the applications of herbicide the power company had sprayed on this site last year.  Sue was the first to spot this lily in big fat bud.  Then another, and another, and another!  We found at least a dozen, so far.  Not the big numbers we used to find here, but at least these gorgeous native lilies seem to be making a comeback.

We even found one in bloom!

Another plant we were delighted to find was the Blunt-leaved Milkweed, almost ready to bloom, and several more  than we'd ever found here before.

We next explored the piney woods adjacent to the powerline easement, searching for evidence that Checkered Rattlesnake Plantain might be ready to come into bloom.  Yes!  We found some with budded flowerstalks.  Sue did, that is.  I never would have seen this tiny little sprout on my own.

I DID see these tiny toadlets, however, although at first I thought they were crickets, they were so small.  There were dozens of them hopping about on the sunlit trail, but it wasn't until I captured and held one in my hand that I could be sure they were really toads and not insects.  Cute!


Uta said...

I think I would have taken this little guy home. I have fewer and fewer frogs of any kind. My neighbors all believe in pesticides. We have found 3 dead birds on our one acre lot, when will people wisen up.

Ellen Rathbone said...

That milkweed has beautiful leaves!!!
And it's another species I've never seen. How sad that most folks only know common milkweed and think that is it. Hm.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Uta, how sad that your neighbors use pesticides. Most people just don't understand how essential to all life are the soil insects and microorganisms that these pesticides destroy, along with other insects, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals.

Hi Ellen. Yes, really beautiful leaves, all ruffly. I never knew we had this milkweed until Sue found it two year's ago and showed it to me. Now I see it in many other places that I overlooked before.