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Seeking Rocks and Minerals with Tommy: Oct 26

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Signs of Autumn

I spent a wonderful weekend outdoors enjoying the autumn weather and appreciating the changes it brings. Between camping at Pillsbury State Park and a brief visit to my land, I saw a lot of wonderful things. There's so much to share!

What's in flower?

The star attraction of a quick trip to my land this weekend was the first sighting of Bottle Gentians (Gentiana clausa)!
These flowers are interesting in that they never open. They are pollinated by insects that force their way inside.

Another exciting find at Pillsbury was Nodding Ladies'-Tresses (Spiranthes cernua). There are a number of Ladies'-Tresses species in New England, but this is the only one I've found so far:

They are small, subtle, and easily overlooked. But I find their delicate, almost transparent flowers beautiful. And I was lucky enough to see ~150 of them in a grassy, open area along a woodland path!


There are, of course, a great many aster species blooming this time of year. I am not yet at all good…

Trip Report: Aug 11

Emily came with me to visit my land this weekend! I took her on the wildflower circuit: brook, marsh, upland boulders, back orchid corner, swamp.



What's blooming?

Both Pinesap (Monotropa hypopitys) and ghost pipe (Monotropa uniflora) are in bloom. The ghost pipes are everywhere - usually white and sometimes blushing pink:


Pinesap is less common. This is the only one I've seen so far - they're usually yellow but sometimes this lovely pink:


Dwarf St. John's-Wort (Hypericum mutilum) is tiny! I missed it until Emily pointed it out.



Whorled Wood Aster (Oclemena acuminata )


I think this one is Swamp Smartweed (Persicaria hydropiperoides )


Eastern Teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens) flowers are very subtle:


What's in fruit?

I've only found two small patches of Creeping Snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula) on my land. I missed the flowers this year, but the tiny fruit have arrived and they are beautiful.


I had never looked closely at one before - check out the tiny hairs!


Canad…

What's Blooming: Aug 3

I'm amazed how much is blooming along the brook right now! I photographed at least 15 species in full bloom, and more in other stages. Here are some of the highlights:


















Trip Report: July 27

I drove up right after work on Friday. Made it just in time to get to my tent before dark, which was good because both my headlamps were dead :)

Cardinal-flower (Lobelia cardinalis) is finally blooming! I've been looking forward to it since I saw it in the listing photos and fell in love with the place.


Blue vervain (Verbena hastata) is also blooming - a lovely surprise



Red raspberries are ripe and delicious!


Blueberries too


All kinds of cool bugs this visit








Trip Report: July 21

The greater purple fringed bog-orchid (Platanthera grandiflora) is finally blooming! I've been looking forward to it since I found the seed pods back on March 9.
Allegheny monkey-flower (Mimulus ringens) on the other hand, was a surprise. I've wanted to see it for years, and suddenly here it is! 
Side-flowering skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)
I finally caught the american water-pennywort (Hydrocotyle americana) in tiny tiny bloom. I've been watching it for two months.
Ghost pipe (Monotropa uniflora)

Nathaniel spotted this little buddy. He hung out with us for hours in the shelter. I got to watch him eat a little wormy critter!