Sunday, July 5, 2015

My Own Independence Days

While our nation was celebrating Independence Day this weekend, I was enjoying a bit of independence of my own, walking with just the support of a cane along some of the prettiest trails in Saratoga County.

Actually, my independence was only made possible with a little help from my friends, since I cannot yet fit my injured leg beneath the steering wheel of my car, and so must depend on others to drive me to these places.  Once again, my friend Sue Pierce devoted one of her precious vacation days last Friday to accompany me  along the Burl Trail that follows the Kayaderosseras Creek near Ballston Spa.

I had actually visited this same trail the day before with my husband Denis (pictured here), but I was very glad to return to the site the following day with a friend whose trail-walking style is more in tune with mine.  (Meaning, we both might be willing to stand still for intolerable lengths of time if a photo opportunity presents itself.)  But I think Denis did enjoy this trail for its beauty, if not for its population of biting mosquitoes.

I think the truly best time to visit the Burl Trail is in aster season, late summer/early fall, when multicolored asters vie with brilliant sunflowers to contribute the most vivid colors to the scene, but at least the Blue Vervain was making a splendid effort to beautify the banks this week.

Also, the pretty striped blooms of White Beardtongue were certainly worth a closer look.

Some of the most magnificent sights along the Burl Trail are the  limbs of huge old Silver Maples arching over the creek bank, dwarfing those who pass beneath them in the cool green shade.

When Sue and I walked the trail the next day, we continued on to where the trail loops back toward the start, passing through a sunny open meadow burgeoning with wildflowers and buzzing with many different kinds of insects.

Almost hidden among a hedge of dogwood shrubs were these vivid Canada Lilies, the first we had seen this year.

Knowing that Canada Lilies were now blooming, I asked my husband to drive me today to the Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail just outside of Saratoga.  This is a wet habitat where I've always found many plants of these gorgeous native lilies, and I didn't want to miss their blooming season.

I recalled from previous years a particularly vigorous lily plant, super tall with multiple blooms, right by the entrance to the trail.  Ah, but unfortunately, somebody found this lily before I did.  I wonder if it was browsed by a deer, or if a human picked  it to take home.

Disappointed but not daunted, we continued along the trail for a hundred yards or so, searching for other lilies in bloom.  I was almost ready to give up when we spied this lovely stalk of lilies, glowing from deep off the trail in the middle of the woods.  A beam of sunlight lit the flowers up like lamps.

Nearby, this little patch of Orange Jelly fungus matched those lilies for vivid color.


Jeff said...


A banner year for Canada Lily. All along roads in Ballston/charlton and a paddle on the Kunjumuk yesterday had dozens. Never saw so many in one year.

The Furry Gnome said...

Glad people are taking good care of you!

suep said...

There are Canada lilies just a short ways in at Cole's Woods, and also along the Bike PAth at Glen Lake ... we should visit one of those places this weekend perhaps ??