Another sunny warm day in Saratoga County! So off I sped to both the North Woods at Skidmore College here in Saratoga Springs, and then a few miles north to the Orra Phelps Nature Preserve in Wilton. I was betting new flowers would be blooming today, and I was not mistaken!
North Woods at Skidmore College
Could Trout Lilies be blooming already? I was here just a few days ago and saw only a few of the mottled leaves protruding above the leaf litter. But rain and warmth had worked their magic, and today, the forest floor was teeming with these lovely yellow lilies (Erythronium americanum):
Early Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum giganteum) is another of the early spring bloomers at Skidmore, and many of this plant's slender purple-leaved stalks were standing tall above the leaf litter today.
Orra Phelps Nature Preserve, Wilton
How interesting, that the first blooming flowers that greeted me when I reached the Orra Phelps Preserve belonged to another species of sedge. And this sedge species I DO know! Or, I think I do. The wide, slightly rumpled leaves and the reddish base of the stalks are clues that this is the Plantain-leaved Sedge (Carex plantaginea). Again, yellow staminate flowers surmount stems that sprout with tiny white pistillate ones.
Luckily, I keep a sharp-pointed weed-digger in my car (I use it in winter to knock snow out of my car's wheel wells). I quickly retrieved that long-shafted digger and started digging. It took me about half an hour and several broken fingernails to fill a garbage bag with what I hoped was every trace of these nasty plants. But I'm sure enough little pieces remain to regenerate over time, so I alerted the volunteer stewards of this preserve to watch for any resurgence. And of course, I'll be watching, too! This small nature preserve contains so many beautiful native creekside flowers, it sure would be a shame to lose them to this horrid weed.