So many different habitats, so little time! Just note the variety of habitats I've posted about in only the past two weeks: oak/pine savanna, riparian islands, marble-paved ice meadows, wooded wetlands, a pocket-sized bog! And here's another I explored just yesterday in the rain: a densely wooded creekside swamp, home to a couple of wetland plants I have found nowhere else (at least, so far). More than any other creek I visit in the Saratoga area, this one has the lowest, muddiest shoreline that supports the densest vegetation right up to and even beyond the water's edge. I have to wear boots or water shoes to adequately explore this verdant but mucky environment.
This is the Spring Run Swamp, which borders the Spring Run Creek, a watercourse that feeds into Loughberry Lake, the main reservoir for the city of Saratoga Springs. Some of the shoreline is carpeted with Sphagnum Moss, which imparts a certain acidity to areas of the swamp, but the patches of sphagnum are not extensive enough to create true bog conditions, since I find here none of the other plants I usually associate with bogs.
The second species I wade through mud here to find is this tall robust plant called Water Speedwell (Veronica anagallis-aquatica). Although this is not a plant that is native to North America, it is widespread across the United States. With such a widespread distribution, you'd think I might find this plant in every wetland I explore. And yet, this swamp is the only wetland where I have happened to see it growing abundantly.
The bright-white flowers in this semi-circular arrangement of Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) seemed to glow in the dark shade of this swamp.