Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Return to the Hoosic Shores

A view of the Hoosic River at Lock 4 Canal Park, just upstream from where it joins the Hudson River

Canal Park at Lock 4 in Rensselaer County is a wonderful place for a river walk, since its many acres of woodland and riverbank lie at the junction of the Hudson and Hoosic rivers, just where the Champlain Canal rejoins the Hudson River. And we wildflower enthusiasts know it as a marvelously fertile place to find many amazing flowers.

Although I have visited this beautiful park already twice this year (in June and again in August), I returned once more this past week to see if I could catch the rare Creeping Bushclover (Lespedeza repens) in bloom at last.  And I'm very happy to report that it was!

One of the great features of this park is a low area flowed over by Hoosic River floodwaters each spring, a place where most of its resident plants grow to gigantic size in the rich alluvial soil. Here we find Green Dragon plants (Arisaema dracontium) that reach up to our waists in June.  I wondered if I could still find Green Dragons this late in the year, so I hurried to where I knew they grow in abundant numbers.  At first, I could not find their large leaves among the prevailing greenery. But then the brilliant-red shiny fruits caught my eye.  The leafy parts of the plants were fading fast, but oh, those fruits were certainly in their glory!

1 comment:

threecollie said...

Beautiful, as always. I think of you daily as I try to identify the plants around me.