OK, rain, go ahead and pour! As it's done every day this past week, too. Not many days ago, the land and its plants were desperate for rain's refreshment, and thankfully, I have a good raincoat. So off I went in the rain yesterday to a powerline above Mud Pond at Moreau Lake State Park. Midsummer's Eve had come and gone, which is when the Wood Lilies bloom at Moreau, and I did not want to miss them, rain be darned.
Well, I missed seeing the numbers of Lilium philadelphicum that usually bloom in this clearcut, but at least a few made it this year. (Luckily, they don't close their vibrant orange flowers in the rain.) Here's one:
So glorious, even when wet! But where were the dozens that usually thrive in this open grassy area under the lines?
OK, here's another. And there was one more, too (not counting this bud), in the next hundred yards or so. And that was it for this year. Was it the drought? The early heat followed by killing frost? Who knows? I am feeling thankful that at least I was able to lay my eyes on these.
There were other beauties here, as well. The Blunt-leaved Milkweeds (Asclepias amplexicaulis) were in full and fragrant bloom.
It was hard not to get really damp, though, on the forested trail that circles Mud Pond, thanks to abundant rain-soaked foliage crowding the path. I have been walking this trail for many years, and never have I seen the trailside shrubs and herbaceous plants so lush and verdant. I wonder if all this abounding of greenery is in reaction to last summer's Spongy Moth defoliation. Plus soaking rains of late.
Further up the steep bank, large patches of the related Whorled Loosestrife (Lysimachia quadrifolia) held whorls of slender-stemmed flowers that looked very much like those of the Swamp Candles. I have read that the two species can freely hybridize, but I have never seen any intermediate plants that might have been such hybrids.
I expect I will always find our little native orchids called Checkered Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera tesselata) SOMEwhere in the woods around Mud Pond. But I sure cannot count on finding them in the same place each year. I was despairing of finding any this year, since not a one could I find where they grew last year. Then WOW! I came to a site where I could count almost a dozen just standing on the path. Here are just two of them. I expect those tight buds will yield the small white florets in just a week or so. The checkered basal leaves persist through the winter. New ones will grow now.