Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Great Way to Spend My Birthday!

I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my birthday: with my best nature buddy Sue, walking a beautiful flower-bedecked trail, and finding treasured plants we thought had been lost forever.

Sue and I have been walking the Warren County Bike Trail between Glens Falls and Lake George for a number of years, congratulating ourselves that here was a trail where we could count on always finding Nodding Trillium (Trillium cernua).  Except that over the past couple of years, they had disappeared (or seriously diminished) from where we had found them before.  So imagine our delight today when we found lots and lots of them, in places we'd never thought to look before.  We now call them "the traveling plants!"  Ants are very instrumental in dispersing these lovely native wildflowers, carrying off their seeds and depositing them in their nests. It seems as if those ants have been very busy along the Warren County Bike Trail.  Thanks a lot, ants!

Another wonderful find today was this Early Azalea bush in full glorious bloom!

Earlier this month, Sue had visited the site where we always find this gorgeous native azalea (Rhododendron prinophyllum), and she had despaired when she saw what looked like nothing but bare dead branches at the site.  The power company had sprayed herbicides along a nearby powerline, so we had assumed that our treasured azalea shrubs were gone forever.  But today our spirits soared when we glimpsed that vivid pink high on the bank and smelled the delicious fragrance today's gentle breeze carried our way from these heavenly scented blossoms.  That herbicide had somehow missed these treasures!

Here's a closer view of those beautiful blooms, and if you look very carefully at the flower tubes, you can just make out the glandular hairs that carry the exquisite fragrance this wild azalea is famous for.

Of course, there were many other beautiful flowers along the trail on this balmy late-May day, warmed by afternoon sunshine after a soft morning rain.  The most abundant shrub of all was Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), dangling its chubby clusters of snowy white blooms.

We thought we had come too early to catch the vivid confetti-colored flowers of Glaucous Honeysuckle (Lonicera dioica), but then we found one vine that was just beginning to burst into bloom.

Certain grassy sections along the trail were carpeted with masses of the pretty purple blooms of Dog Violet (Viola labradorica).

And not far away, along the road we had driven here on, was a generous grouping of this spectacular native orchid, the Yellow Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum).

I have to share this fabulously funny card my friend Sue gave me today.  Longtime readers of this blog will certainly get the joke!


Uta said...

How lucky you are to have such a wonderful friend that also has lots of humor.
Happy Birthday.

Unknown said...

I love, love, love your blog. Beautiful. I'm glad you had a wonderful birthday. Mine is this weekend and I am heading for the bush! All the best to you.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Happy Birthday!

Bill and dogs said...

Happy birthday to the author of my favorite blog.

threecollie said...

Happy birthday!

The Furry Gnome said...

Good way to celebrate your birthday! And nice to know you're another May baby! Sadly, we have neither Nodding Trillium nor any Azaleas up here.

Wayne said...

Happy Birthday to you and congratulations to you and Sue for such a wonderful celebration. Thanks for sharing the sights and descriptions of this day and so many other wonderful days in Nature.

Woody Meristem said...

Happy Birthday -- that was a really good way to spend the day.

suep said...

Well I'm certainly glad you spent a bit of your special day rambling with me, on an old familiar walk -- hey we have to get our boats in the water soon !