In the ten days that I was away on vacation, enormous changes have
place on the trail. As expected, the Pickerel Weed and Milkweed are
in full bloom, but many other flowers have blossomed as well.
(Spiraea latifolia) tiny flowers clearly place it in the Rose
family (Rosaceae). Insects love it.
July saw temperatures in the high ninties, with humidity to match.
Whitetail Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) sought the margins
of Raymond Brook Marsh for browsing, cool water, and temporary relief
from the pesky Deer Flies (Chrysops
of spotted fawns were more intent on their mother than on me.
Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium) is related to Milkweed.
It shares the characteristic milky juice (full of toxic alkyloids)
and elongate seed pods.
most striking of the early July flora are the mature berries of Swamp
Fly-Honeysuckle (Lonicera oblongifolia).
Anne's Lace (Daucus carota) is the wild form of our edible
carrot. Pull one sometime and see the white carrot-like root.
of Queen Anne's Lace show a touch of pink before unfolding into the
flat umbel of the the mature inflorescence.
Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is a member of the Asteraceae. This
family of plants is also known as the Compositae as what appears to
be a single flower is actually composed of hundered of flowers tightly
clustered together. The outermost ring of "ray" flowers
each has a single showy petal - yellow in Black-Eyed Susans, white
in Daisies. The brown center consists of many tubelike "disk"
flowers. Here you can see yellow pollen on the disk flowers that have
opened. Others will open towards the center of the disk over the next
Meadow-Rue (Thalictrum polygamum). The flowers lack petals,
consisting instead of showy stamens. The plant is three to eight feet
tall with leaves divided and lobed much like Rue-Anemone to which
it is related.
Clover (Trifolium arvense). Common in waste places and often
ignored as a weed, the flowers are quite beautiful close up.
heads of Peppergrass (Lepidium sp.).
Tick-Trefoil (Desmodium canadense) is a member of the Pea family
(Poaceae or Leguminosae, depending on who taught you Botany - and
when). Later, you'll find the "sticktight" seeds firmly
attached to your clothing should you brush by the plants.
three varieties of Milkweed along the trail. This is probably Common
Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). The milky juice transfers its
toxicity to Monarch (Danaus plexippus) butterflies, protecting
them from birds.
this is Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata).
7th at 9:00 A.M. and our sky is hazy with the smoke of forest fires