This time, I entered the trail from a point that would take me more directly to the swamp. This trail passes through a beautiful woods, made even more interesting by these trees with their curving trunks. How do you think that happened?
I promptly arrived at the swamp where I'd found those mystery plants. I was glad to see that last night's freezing temps hadn't killed the gorgeous Marsh Marigold that lined the stream banks.
It WAS chilly enough today, however, to stun this pretty hoverfly into torpidity, so I could poke my camera in close to snap its picture.
I hadn't remembered seeing Hooked Crowfoot blooming when I passed this way 3 days ago. Its tiny star-shaped flowers are easy to miss, but I always stop to peer closely at them. In the center of those glossy yellow petals is a globe that is studded with tiny hooks, a feature that surely suggested this buttercup's common name. Its scientifically specific name, too: Ranunculus recurvatus.
Here's a closer look at those tiny hooks:
I think this beautiful big Dryad's Saddle fungus must have emerged since I last passed this way, as well. How could I have missed it, it has such a handsome presence?
I promptly arrived at a patch of the plants I was searching for. Unharmed by any touch of frost, they seemed bigger and taller than ever.
This time, I examined the leaves more closely, and I found slender stalks emerging from every leaf axil along the thick stem. The stalks were tipped by leafy growths, but I am assuming that flowers will develop eventually at the ends of these stalks.
This time I collected a specimen, so I could observe the plant at length, and perhaps submit the actual plant to someone who might be able to name it for me. As this ruler shows, the plants is quite tall. And I doubt it has stopped its growing.
After measuring the plant, I placed it in a large glass vase, covering its roots with water. I'm hoping it will survive this way long enough that some flowers may yet develop. I'm afraid that's the only way I will ever determine its name. But even if it doesn't survive in this vase, I know how to easily walk to where it does thrive in the swamp. There's no shortage of these plants in there!