Wild Lupines are not really a rare plant in Saratoga County, with vast regions of sandy, low-nutrient soil abounding in many areas. Lupines, like all Pea Family plants, can actually produce all the nutrients they need out of the air! I know of several places to see these flowers, including stretches right along the highway. But rare are the places one can see just acres and acres of land simply carpeted with masses of them in all their purple glory. The Wilton preserve is one of those sites, because the managers groom the habitat there specifically for lupines, and then they plant masses of them. After nearly swooning with amazement at the scene pictured above, I set off along the trail to see what other glories awaited further afield.
I didn't have to walk far. Almost every turn in the trail brought scenes like these below into view:
Masses of fragrant Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense) also thrive in the shade of these woods.
The vibrant orange of these Pitch Pine flowers (Pinus rigida) also caused me to halt to capture their strange kind of beauty in a photo. They also reminded me to mention that the particular habitat I'd explored today is called an "oak/pine savanna," and aptly so, since several species of oaks and pines inhabit the site. Another name for it is "sand plain grassland," also an apt name for this site in which several species of native grasses are being restored.