Archive for the ‘Field Trips’ category

Seven New Plants Added to the List for Whiteface Mountain

August 22, 2011

On July 30, 2011 the Adirondack Botanical Society had a field trip to Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, NY.  The day started out misty and cold but the clouds later lifted and it was a beautiful day.  A walk up to the top along the stairway and back down along the Wilmington trail to the road and parking lot resulted in the discovery of seven new plants not seen before at the top of the mountain.  They are listed below, some with photos.  To access the complete plant list CLICK HERE.  – Steve Young

Hypericum perforatum, Common St. John's-wort, here in bud, was seen along the roadside just below the parking lot.


One plant of Houstonia longifolia, pale bluets, in full flower, was also seen below the parking lot.

Aquilegia canadensis, Columbine, in fruit, was growing near an area of stonework with lots of mortar.


Euthamia graminifolia, grass-leaved goldenrod, was growing in the stonework area too.


Carum carvi, caraway, a possible invasive species, somehow got established up near the weather observatory.

The other two species, without photos, were Matricaria discoidea, pineapple weed, and Silene vulgaris, bladder campion. They were both found along the roadside near the parking lot.  For a complete set of photos from the trip CLICK HERE.




Assessing the Condition of Wetlands in New York

August 16, 2011

The NY Natural Heritage Program and environmental firm Tetra Tech are teaming up this summer to assess the condition of various wetlands across New York for the EPA.  The project began with wetlands in the Adirondacks, continues on to Western New York, and finishes on Long Island.  Below are some photos from the work in the Adirondacks. – Steve Young

Each site requires lots of equipment to sample the vegetation in five 100 meter square plots along with soil samples. Some sites are close to roads. Others require some bushwhacking with backpacks.

Chad Barbour and Elizabeth Spencer dig a soil pit near Louisville in St. Lawrence County. Dirty Jobs anyone?

Lots and lots of data and samples are taken at each site. It takes about 6-7 hours to complete the process.

Staff from DEC and TNC helped us access some of the more remote sites. Here Todd Dunham from TNC shows us a small waterfall near one of our sites.

So far we have sampled a variety of wetlands like this wet meadow near Louisville.

And a beautiful spruce-fir swamp southeast of the Carry Falls Reservoir.

As well as an alder shrub swamp along Moose Creek southwest of Follensby Pond.

We documented some beautiful examples of wetland flora like this Platanthera psycodes.

Virgin's-bower, Clematis virginiana, was a dominant in the alder swamp.

There is always a Carex species or two, or three, or four . . . This is Carex vesicaria in the shrub swamp.

Black elderberry, Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis, was also common in the shrub swamp.

Many tricolored bumble bees, Bombus ternarius, were feasting on the spotted joe-pye-weed.

In the spruce-fir swamp we saw the rough bark of red spruce, on the left, with the smoother bark (with resin blisters) of balsam fir on the right.

This northern white cedar had its bark damaged by a bear.

Future posts will document our work as it continues in other regions of the state. Elizabeth records data in the wet meadow.



A Rare Plant Survey in Ulster County

June 25, 2011

Steve Young and Kim Smith of the New York Natural Heritage Program surveyed a state park in Ulster County this week. Besides Kim finding a new population of Carex davisii, these are some of the other things we saw.

The hophornbeams really stood out with their beautiful fruit clusters in contrast to the dark green leaves.

Sycamore maple, Acer pseudoplatanus, has escaped here. The "atropurpurea" cultivar has purple undersides.

Just outside the park were some impressive walls of Japanese knotweed.

At one point we had an aerial view of the tops of red oak crowns.

The crowns of large sassafras trees were also really neat to see.

We updated the information for a population of Virginia snakeroot, Endodeca serpentaria, a state endangered plant. It grows in the forest herb layer.

We found the small dry fruits under the leaf litter where the flowers of this cousin to wild ginger grow.

The purple-veined basal leaves of rattlesnake hawkweek, Hieracium venosum, were common in the deer-decimated understory.

Our botanizing drew the attention of this young barred owl who didn't seem to mind our presence.

Adirondack Botanical Society Summer Field Trip Schedule Summer 2011

May 19, 2011

The Adirondack Botanical Society is pleased to announce its list of summer 2011 field trips. These trips are for everyone from interested enthusiasts to professional botanists. Contact information for each trip is below so please contact them before the trip. Some trips might have a size limit.

Sunday, June 5th 2011.  Crane Mt. Road, Johnsburg (near North Creek).  Mosses and liverworts, showy orchis, Goldie’s fern and some other high pH ferns.  Meet at 10 in the Johnsburg library/town hall parking lot on Main Street near the intersection of 28N.  Contact Evelyn Greene:

Sunday, June 12th, 2011. Jones Pond paddle. See some wetland orchids in the northern Adirondacks with a paddle into Jones Pond in Paul Smith’s, NY. Start from Jones Pond Road and Route 86 in Paul Smith’s at 10am. Canoe and PFD required. Contact Brian McAlister:

Saturday, June 18th, 2011. Wright Peak. Visit alpine vegetation at the summit of Wright Peak in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness area. This all day trip requires a rigorous hike up New York State’s 16th highest mountain. Start at the Adirondack Loj near Lake Placid at 9am. Contact Julia Goren: Group size is limited to 15 so you must register in advance.

Sunday, June 26th 2011.  “Ice meadows” along east side of Hudson River, near Warrensburg.  Meet at 10:30am in parking lot of Warren Co. /DEC Park north of Cronin’s Golf Course. Contact Evelyn Greene:

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011. Pyramid Lake, Pharaoh Lakes Wilderness Area, Essex County. A canoe paddle to see the swamp vegetation at this remote and hard to access lake south of Paradox, NY. Contact Jacqueline Donnelly: (518)584-6346. Group size is limited to 12 so you must register by June 27th.

Saturday, July 30th, 2011. Whiteface Mountain. Visit the alpine vegetation zone without the hike. Start from the Veteran’s memorial highway in Wilmington, NY at 10am. Contact: Julia Goren,

Saturday, August 6th 2011. Madawaska. Visit lowland boreal wetland communities in Franklin County via canoe. Contact: Lem Hegwood

To join the Google discussion group for the Adirondack Botanical Society send an email to Write Join in the subject line. You can state why you would like to join in the body of the email.

The Hudson River Ice Meadows in late April are still covered in ice. On June 26 you can learn about the unique plants that grow there after the ice melts.

ADK plant enthusiasts on a trip to see big trees after the ABS kickoff meeting on April 30, 2011

NY Capital District Friday Field Group Schedule Available

April 19, 2011

The Capital District Friday Field Group just released their schedule for the 2011 field season. The group meets every Friday at 5:30 PM at a location in the Capital District of New York to learn the flora and fauna of the area. The group is also on if you would like to register there. For a copy of the schedule CLICK HERE. See you in the field!

The first trip will be April 29th to Joralemon Park in Coeymans to see the early spring flora. If you don't know what this flower is come to the walk to find out.

Early Morning at the South Ferry Salt Marsh

March 28, 2011

by Steve Young – NY Natural Heritage Program

Last summer I had to leave early from Mashomack Preserve  on Shelter Island for a field trip to Long Island.  While I waited for the South Ferry I decided to explore the marsh to the west where a friend had told me there were some interesting plants. He was right.

The early morning sun comes up over the ferry.

Salt grass, Distichlis spicata, is lit up by the low sun angle.

The seaside plantain, Plantago maritima ssp. juncoides is our only plantain that grows in saltwater.

Two species of glasswort grow here. Sarcocornia pacifica, pictured here, has rhizomatous stems

Dwarf glasswort, Salicornia bigelovii, is a single-stemmed annual with thick stems and a leaf scale that has a mucronate (pointed) tip.

Here they are together. There is one other glasswort, Salicornia depressa, that is a single-stem annual but its scales are not mucronate and it has more narrow stems.

Slender saltmarsh aster, Symphyotrichum tenuifolium, added some white and yellow accents to the scene.

An osprey often keeps watch over the area.

NYFA Fields Trips and Workshops for 2011

March 19, 2011

CLICK HERE to see the list of field trips and workshops scheduled for 2011.

We hope to see you at some of our outstanding workshops and field trips this year.

Butternut Valley Alliance Plans Wildflower Walk Sunday, June 5, 2011

March 11, 2011

The Butternut Valley Alliance in Otsego County has scheduled their second annual wildflower walk for Sunday June 5th, at 1:30 PM.

There are pictures of last year’s walk on the Butternut Valley Alliance website. View the pdf of the Flora Walk at the Stroh’s. This year they are hoping it won’t be so rainy.  They would appreciate all the botanical help they can get so they can assemble a good native and invasive plant list of the area.

A pot luck picnic is planned for 4 PM.

For more information contact Leslie Stroh at

CLICK HERE for more photos of the beautiful Butternut Valley.

Save the Date: Long Island Pine Barrens Discovery Day Saturday, June 11

March 9, 2011

Learn about the ecology of the Long Island Central Pine Barrens and take part in other educational fun shops, field trips and a kids Discovery Center.  Fun for the whole family.  More information is available at their website.  CLICK HERE to access it.  Rain date June 12th.

Cornell Plantation Announces Second Natural Areas Academy

March 2, 2011

ITHACA, NY (February 21, 2011) — Do you love spending time in the forests, meadows and other natural areas of the Finger Lakes region?  Do you care about preserving the integrity of the natural world and do you want to share this love with others?  If so, consider joining Plantations’ Natural Areas Academy.

The year-long Natural Areas Academy (NAA) consists of dozens of expert-led workshops, field trips, and directed stewardship opportunities designed to provide participants with the knowledge, tools, and skills needed to support efforts in preserving our treasured natural resources. Utilizing Plantations’ Natural Areas as outdoor classrooms, the NAA aims to foster the conservation of natural areas and rare and declining species and their habitats by demonstrating essential stewardship methods, cultivating environmental literacy, and encouraging interactive experience with the natural world.

“With their newly gained expertise, the Natural Areas Academy participants will also help to mentor the next generation of scientists, teachers, environmental stewards, and leaders, thereby fulfilling a vital role in the long-term preservation of our natural heritage, our world, and ultimately, our place in it,” stated Todd Bittner, director of the Cornell Plantations Natural Areas,

Participants in the NAA are expected to work towards the program’s goals over the course of a year.  After the completion of at least eight of the workshops and field trips, plus 40 hours of participation in directed stewardship activities, academy members will receive their Natural Areas Mentor certification and may continue to participate in the NAA as a mentor for no cost. The first NAA workshop will be for a mandatory orientation, and will be held on Saturday, March 12, beginning at 9:30 AM.

Participation in the NAA requires a non-refundable $100 application fee.  To learn more or to enroll online, please visit us at  Enrollment closes at midnight on March 11, 2011.

Cornell Plantations is the botanical gardens, arboretum, and natural areas of Cornell University, and is a member of Ithaca’s Discovery Trail partnership. Plantations is open to the public year-round, free of charge, during daylight hours. The Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11am to 4pm.  For more information call 607-255-2400, visit, and find us on Facebook at