Saturday, April 26, 2014

Preview of Coming Attractions

Oh man, I am scheduled to lead a group of garden club folks on a wildflower walk in Cole's Woods in less than a week!  If this cold weather continues, will there be anything in bloom to show the participants?  When my friend Sue and I visited these Glens Falls trails today to plan my route, it sure didn't look very promising, at first sight.

But we hadn't gone very far before we saw the dainty foliage of Dwarf Ginseng, and a closer look revealed many flower buds hiding among its leaves.  I have never seen this diminutive ginseng grow so profusely anywhere else the way it does in Cole's Woods.  I do believe we will have quite a show of its tiny white flowers before the week is out.

Red Trillium, too, was heavy with fat buds, and if the weather just warms up a bit this week, we should see their deep red blooms on our next-Friday walk.

I doubt that our flower walkers will be able to spot these almost-invisible Golden Saxifrage blooms from the trail, and I'm not going to lead the group into ankle-deep mud to take a gander.  So I'd better wear my mud boots and go get a sprig to pass around -- along with a magnifier!

Another swamp dweller is Spicebush, but its bright yellow blooms are easily visible from the higher ground of the trail.  I just hope a few of the puffy flower clusters are still in bloom by the end of next week.

The Skunk Cabbage spathes have now opened wide, revealing the flowering spadices within. I wonder how many of the garden-club members attending on this walk would recognize these plants as true wildflowers?

There's no doubting the floral attraction of pretty Trailing Arbutus.  We found lots of opening buds, both pink and white, so we should have quite a lovely display by Friday.  Some of these plants are growing high on a bank, so we will also be able to enjoy their delicious fragrance, without having to stoop to smell them.

I certainly had to stoop to enjoy the sight of these tiny baby Wild Lupines, each palmate leaf holding a drop of rainwater, glittering like diamonds.

Here's a closer look at those leaves, revealing their remarkably furry texture.  Of course, the Lupines will have no flowers by the end of next week, but the purple leaves have a beauty all their own.

As for beauty, the tight rosy flowerbuds of Red-berried Elder are actually much prettier than the rather raggedy off-white flowers that will bloom before long.  I also love the purple cast to the leaves that surround the flower clusters.

Some more lovely leaves, these as brightly colored as tropical birds, surrounding the opening flower cluster of Sweet Viburnum, also known as Nannyberry.

Partridgeberry is a plant that delights in every season, its evergreen leaves and bright-red berries looking as fresh as they did last year, before spending the winter buried under the snow.  Their waxy white trumpet-shaped blooms won't appear for a month or more, but they still put on quite a show, just as they are.  Maybe their beauty could convince some gardeners to replace invasive groundcovers like Periwinkle with a native groundcover like this.

I'm glad I had the chance to review the trails in Cole's Woods today, since I will be away this week until Thursday, heading down to Mt. Kisco tomorrow to stay with my granddaughters while their parents are away.  I don't know if I will be able to blog from down there, but I do hope to visit nature preserves in Westchester County, which should be abounding in blooming flowers by now (behind the deer fences, that is).  A preview of the coming floral attractions of our own Saratoga County woods.


threecollie said...

What lovey shots! My grandmother loved the trailing arbutus...

The Furry Gnome said...

As always, amazing shots, and so much to find in the woods when you look closely.

Unknown said...

Just beautiful! Thanks fir the tour and infirmation!

catharus said...

Wild lupine -- I think that's a new on for me!

Wayne said...

Lovely views! Whatever is blooming, or even starting to sprout, I am sure you will show the folks there many things they would not otherwise be aware of. Your eye for the less-conspicuous beauties of Nature can help people find a whole new world that they formerly ignored.