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Showing posts from May, 2019

Plant Progression: Early Coralroot

I found this orchid seed head in a swampy area of my woods on April 14:

I put it on iNaturalist, and we were able to narrow it down to the coralroot genus (Corallorhiza).

New shoots were just barely peeking up. I would never have noticed if they hadn't been at the base of the seed pods:

May 6, coming along:

By May 19th, they were in bud. Don't they look like tiny asparagus? Based on the timing of the buds, I was able to ID them as early/yellow coralroot (Corallorhiza trifida).

On May 27th, they were finally blooming! I know they aren't showy, but there are at least 200 of them, and they're state ranked as S3 - Uncommon in New Hampshire. My most exciting find so far!:

Here's a close-up of the tiny flower:


Plant Progression: Bunchberry

Bunchberry (Chamaepericlymenum canadense) was just starting to emerge this past weekend. I found three plants in various stages:

See the buds starting to appear in the center?

I'll add more photos as it flowers. June 1 edit: they're blooming!

July 27 edit: they're in fruit. Supposedly they're edible, though I've never tried them.

Some bunchberry leaves persist through the winter, so this was actually one of the plants I was able to identify before the snow fully melted. Here's how it looked then:

Plant Progression: Starflower and Cucumber Root

When leaves first emerge, I often mistake cucumber root (Medeola virginiana) for starflower (Lysimachia borealis) at a glance. Both have a thin purple-ish stems and a whorl of similarly-shaped and colored leaves. They tend to appear in the same places, and are of comparable size early on.

But look closer - starflower leaves have pronounced, branching veins. Cucumber root, as a member of the lily family, has veins that run parallel from stem to leaf tip. And starflower's stem is smooth while cucumber root's is positively fuzzy.

Starflower on left, cucumber root on right:

As soon as buds appear, the differences become obvious. Starflower has only a single whorl of leaves, and the buds appear on long, tiny stalks. Cucumber root develops a second, smaller whorl of leaves above the first, and the buds first appear nestled within them.

Starflower on left, cucumber root on right:

Neither have reached bloom yet in my woods as of May 19 - I'll update this when they do.

June 1 edit…

Plant Progression: Painted Trillium

Painted trillium (Trillium undulatum) is the showiest of the wildflowers that have appeared in my woods so far this spring.

They don't look very impressive when they start out though:

The leaves emerge tightly whorled together:
As the leaves unfurl, the bud becomes visible:
Here, the bud is invisible, still hidden by the last leave to unfurl:
This is the same plant when I gently spread the remaining leaf:

Note the three leaves, three petals, and three sepals, characteristic of this and other species of trillium. The sepals are the small, green, leaf-like structures you see alternating with the petals in the photo above. Look back at earlier photos of the buds - you see the sepals enclosing and protecting the bud before it opens.

Plant Progression: Sessile Bellwort

Sessile-leaved bellwort (Uvularia sessilifolia)

June 15 edit: this one is in fruit! See the small pod?

Creatures and Critters

Nothing new blooming this weekend, but I encountered several excellent critters!

I try to avoid disturbing these littles, so the photos are poor. I always feel so accomplished when I get a photo of a frog, even a bad one. More often I just barely catch a glimpse as they leap into the water.

I also saw a hummingbird, but wasn't quick enough for a photo.

This little buddy wasn't on my land, but on a nearby road on my way out:

What's Blooming? May 11

White seems to be the theme in new blooms this week. I did not see any of these blooming five days ago, though of course I might have missed them.

And today's curiosity: I've never seen one of these with two flowers before. I wonder if it's unusual or if I've just never noticed it:

Progress Report #1

I took a long weekend and spent three glorious days on my land 💚

It is still pretty chilly at night, and I haven't scoped out tent sites yet. So Nathaniel and I commuted the half-hour back and forth from my family's cabin. 
This trips goals were: Phenology: check out the progress of Spring and hopefully see the first wildflowers in bloomShelter: put up a basic tarp shelter from this ridiculously rainy SpringBridge: build the first bridge iteration - some logs thrown across the brook with a rope as a hand rail. Savor: spend a lot of time basking in the glory of the place. Success on all counts!

Thank you to Nathaniel for the video 💚
Other accomplishments: Ran around barefoot for the first timeDidn't fall off the bridge in the brookObtained a table for the shelter to go with the Adirondack chairs

Signs of Spring

Spring comes late in my shady New Hampshire woodland - but it is finally here!

Three weeks ago, the land was still half covered in ice. This weekend, the first wildflowers are blooming, and more are on the way!

The sessile bellwort was the first wildflower I saw in bloom:

That surprised me - I expected the trailing arbutus to be first. But here it is, only in bud:
The first of the painted trillium was also blooming:

And tiny tiny golden saxifrage was flaunting its diminutive flowers. It takes a macro shot to see it properly:

The bluebead lily will be coming soon:

As will the goldthread, also in bud:

The platanthera orchids (Platanthera sp.) are emerging. I'm especially excited about these! From last year's bloom spike and seed pods, I was able to narrow it to something in the Platanthera genus, but I don't yet know which species:

I'm also watching this coralroot orchid (Corallorhiza sp.) - again not sure which species. You can see last year's bloom spike on the lef…