Archive for the ‘Field Trips’ category

Looking for Wildflowers Along the Mohawk

April 28, 2014

By Steve Young

20140427-185313.jpgI took a stroll along the Mohawk Bike Path in Aqueduct, Niskayuna today to see what wildflowers I could find. The trail runs at the base of a slope where it meets the floodplain of small creeks flowing into the Mohawk River. Here are the wildflowers that greeted me along the way.

One of the first wildflowers visible was the beautiful bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis

One of the first wildflowers visible was the beautiful bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis.

Some of them were already in fruit.

Some of them were already in fruit.

Early blue cohosh, Caulophyllum giganteum, flowers as the leaves expand.

Early blue cohosh, Caulophyllum giganteum, flowers as the leaves expand.

Enless patterns of trout lily leaves.

The endless patterns of trout lily leaves,  Erythronium americanum, continue to amaze.

Trout lily in bud.

Most trout lilies were in bud.

A few of the flowers were open!

A few of the flowers were open!

Some mayapple leaves, Podophyllum peltatum, were still tightly folded, waiting for warmer weather.

Some mayapple leaves, Podophyllum peltatum, were still tightly folded, waiting for warmer weather.

Others were on their way out, like unfolding butterfly wings.

Others were on their way out, like unfolding butterfly wings.

Virginia waterleaf, Hydrophyllum virginianum, was actually wet from the light showers.

Virginia waterleaf, Hydrophyllum virginianum, was actually wet from the light showers.

But its common name actually comes from the leaf pattern that looks like water droplets covering the leaves.

But its common name actually comes from the leaf pattern that looks like water droplets covering the leaves.

Sharp-leaved hepatica was in flower but the flowers were mostly closed in the wet weather.

Sharp-lobed hepatica, Anemone acutiloba,  was in flower but the flowers were mostly closed in the wet weather.

The showers added water droplets to the fuzzy leaves of common mullein, Verbascum thapsus.

The showers added water droplets to the fuzzy leaves of common mullein, Verbascum thapsus.

The sun came out at times and the these leaves of early meadow rue, Thalictrum dioicum, were lit up from behind.

The sun came out at times and the these leaves of early meadow rue, Thalictrum dioicum, were lit up from behind.

Wetland sedges arise from their old leaf bases in a vernal pond.

Wetland sedges arise from their old leaf bases in a vernal pond.

Red elderberry flowers are still in bud and the leaves look strange.

Red elderberry flowers, Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa, are still in bud and the leaves look like something is affecting them.

Other wildflowers were still in leaf, like many of the violets, but I look forward to coming back with the Friday Field Group this week to see how far along thing are .

 

Adirondack Botanical Society Announces 2014 Field Trips

March 18, 2014

The Adirondack Botanical Society is pleased to announce its list of summer 2014 field trips and workshops including a bike hike and a canoe trip. These trips are for everyone from interested enthusiasts to professional botanists. Contact information for each trip leader is below so please contact them before the trip. All trips have a size limit. We hope to see you in the field!

To see the descriptions of the field trips CLICK HERE.

Orchids Are For All Ages

September 30, 2013

Liana Williams, age 5, enjoys botanizing and birdwatching with grandma (and NYFA Board member) Connie Tedesco. For the last 3 years they have taken a fall walk on Whalen Hill, near Hartwick NY, to find the Spiranthes cernua along the trail, occasional among the clubmosses.  Liana was the first to spot one this year and shows it off for the camera.

Liana finds happiness in an autumn orchid.

Liana finds happiness in an autumn orchid.

The NYFA Annual Meeting Was Fun For All

June 27, 2013

By Steve Young

On May fifth NYFA began their annual meeting and field trip with a visit to Nelson Swamp near Nelson, NY. We met on a beautiful sunny day just outside the village of Cazenovia and carpooled to a parking spot that provided easy access to the swamp.

Field trip participants walk into the swamp.

Field trip participants walk into the swamp.

The participants divided into two smaller groups so we would have less impact on sensitive areas. While some of us explored the mosaic of marsh and white cedar swamp to the west, the other group went into the swamp to take a look at spreading globeflower.

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In one area we came across a beautiful expanse of false hellebore (Veratrum viride) in its early stages of growth as well as some nice meadows of Carex bromoides (“the other hummock sedge” as David Werier describes it). At the appointed time we exchanged places with the other group and listened to Dr. Sara Scanga talk about her work with Spreading globeflower (Trollius laxus) before heading into the swamp to look at the plant for real.

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For some of the group it was the first time they had seen globeflower and Sara explained all of the interesting facets of its growth and ecology. You can learn more about her work HERE.

Group in Nelson

Fortunately the plants were in full flower and put on a real show for us.

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You can learn more about spreading globeflower in New York at the NY Natural Heritage Conservation Guide.

After the field trip we drove to board member Ed Frantz’s house near Cazenovia and enjoyed a delicious and bountiful lunch provided by Ed and his family. After lunch came a short business meeting with a board member vote followed by the first annual botanical quiz given by yours truly from an iPhone app called “Angiosperms.” Even though there were a lot of groans at the questions, I think everyone enjoyed participating, especially the two groups that tied for the win!

Board members Rich Ring and Andy Nelson with wife Mary Anne enjoying the lunch at Ed's house.

Board members Rich Ring and Andy Nelson with wife Mary Anne enjoying the botanical quiz.

We finished off the day’s activities by voting for the 2014 Wildflower of the Year, a tradition that we will have every year to honor and publicize a member of our flora for the next calendar year. This year’s win went to cardinal flower, one of our most spectacular and well-known wildflowers.

Cardinal flower at Indian Lake in the Adirondacks.

Cardinal flower at Indian Lake in the Adirondacks.

Many thanks go to the organizers of the field trip and luncheon and to the record number of participants we had for the meeting.  It was one to remember.

 

NYFA Board Meeting in Oneonta and Cooperstown

April 21, 2013

The NYFA Board met in Cooperstown on April 18 to discuss future projects, field trips, workshops and other issues.  Their annual members meeting will be on Sunday May 5th beginning with a tour of Nelson Swamp.  See our web page on field trips for more information. The day began with a field trip to Table Rocks at the campus of Hartwick College in Oneonta where we were joined by bryologist Dr. Sean Robinson from SUNY Oneonta who helped identify the mosses.  A great time was had by all.

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Table Rocks is located on the slopes above the Science Building but permission is needed to access the site.

IMGP2985Board members Connie Tedesco and David Werier examine the cliff face plants while Sean Robinson looks on.

IMGP2981The thin cross-layered siltstone and shale were amazing and covered with mosses.

IMGP2979Dr. Robinson was eager to show everyone the different species of moss.

IMGP2982David Werier, Dan Spada, and Sean Robinson examine the mosses.

IMGP2983Many of the outcrops had a large amount of rock tripe lichen covering them.

IMGP2988The view from table rocks looks out over the southwestern part of Oneonta and the wetlands on Lower River Street and Oneida Street.

IMGP2992Steve Daniel showed us an example of the green stain fungus in wood, Chlorociboria aeruginacens.

IMGP2993Connie Tedesco talked to us about the Hoysradt herbarium at Hartwick College that she curates. The college is in the process of deciding what to do with it.

IMGP2996Outside the science building we saw a naturalized population of Bellis perennis, English daisy, one of two flowering plants we saw that day.  The other was colt’s foot, another European import.  With the delayed flowering season we are having this spring it was great to see anything blooming!

NYFA’s June Bog Trip

August 18, 2012

Members of the NY Flora Association helped inventory a couple of beautiful bogs in Delaware County this spring.  It was a rainy day but we saw some great plants and scenery. A fun time was had by all and we hope our efforts will add to the knowledge of the flora of Delaware County and provide information to the owners who are concerned about the effects of a new gas pipeline that might be built in the area. Here is a sample of what we saw. Photos by Steve Young.

The first wetland we visited may be only the second dwarf shrub bog documented for Delaware County. It is dominated by low shrubs of Leatherleaf, Chamaedaphne calyculata.

Pitcher plants were fairly common and in flower.

Here is the nodding flower of one of the pitcher plants shining in the rain.

The blue-green color of a small black spruce stands out in contrast to the surrounding shrubs.

Spatterdock was common in the bog lake.

White water lily was there too (darker red leaves) as well as water shield (Brasenia schreberi) that beads up rain water into perfect circles.

An old boardwalk affords access to the lake across the bog and here we saw a variety of wetland wildflowers, shrubs and ferns.

On the way to the other bog we walked through an eerie forest where flooding rains had washed the soil from around the roots of the trees.

Another beautiful sight awaited us as we broke through the surrounding shrubs into the open wetland.

We saw lots of wild calla, Calla palustris, in fruit here.

Some very tall specimens of sheep laurel, Kalmia angustifolia, grew on the edge of the bog.

After a day of slogging through bogs, Alex Young and Laura Lehtonen finally found a nice log where they could rest and take in the scenery. It was a great day despite the rain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adirondack Open Wetland Assessment – Route 8 Marsh

July 29, 2012

The New York Natural Heritage Program is assessing 20 different open wetlands in the Upper Hudson watershed this year as part of a project for the Division of Water in the DEC.  The assessment includes data on species and their percent cover in an 80 meter diameter circle as well as in four 10×10 plots. Additional data on landscape quality surrounding the plots adds to the assessment. On July 25th Greg Edinger and I visited a fen south of Route 8 west of Piseco Lake. – Steve Young

It was another beautiful wetland on another beautiful day. The fen is dominated by Calamagrostis canadensis, bluejoint grass, Carex stricta, hummock sedge, and Carex lasiocarpa, American woolyfruit sedge, with some shrubs of Alnus incana ssp. rugosa, speckled alder and lots of Sphagnum.

We had to be careful not to step into a drainage channel that can be camouflaged by the tall grasses.

Here is Greg standing in one of the ditches taking notes on the aquatic vegetation present.

A muddier opening had some plants of round-leaved sundew, Drosera rotundifolia, that is in bloom this time of year. They also tend to occur in the muddier areas along deer trails. Try not to step on them!

The muddy area also had a nice stand of Lycopodiella inundata, northern bog clubmoss, with its horizontal stems.

I thought I had seen all the species in one of our plots when Greg spied a small green woodland orchid, Platanthera clavellata. It was the first orchid we had seen during the surveys.


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