Archive for the ‘What’s Blooming’ category

Mertensia City

May 5, 2009

In Western New York, Karen Schreiner reported on the Genesee Valley Conservancy annual bluebell walk that they host every year.  It’s near the Genesee River, on 400+ acres of easement protected property.  She refers to it as Mertensia City.  Her photos below show how beautiful it is.  -Steve Young

National Phenology Network website

April 29, 2009

Besides the Central New York effort described below there is a national effort to monitor phenology.  From their website –  The USA National Phenology Network brings together citizen scientists, government agencies, non-profit groups, educators and students of all ages to monitor the impacts of climate change on plants and animals in the United States. The network harnesses the power of people and the Internet to collect and share information, providing researchers with far more data than they could collect alone. To join the network go to:

Visit Project Budbreak

April 28, 2009

What is Project Budbreak?   The web site has been established to help citizen scientists observe the effects of climate change on native plants in central New York.

Associated with a national effort, a network of citizen scientists is being established in central New York to observe the timing of flowering, leaf development, fruiting, and leaf drop in populations of common native trees and herbaceous species. This site will help observers to enter their data on the timing of important plant events through the growing season.

After registering as a participant, you will set up 1 or more sites that you will be observing regularly. For each site, you will set up 1 or more individual plants for which you will periodically record phenological data. – Information from the budbreak website.

You can find it at

Early risers showing up

April 21, 2009

Late April is a good time to see our wildflower flora coming back to life after a long winter.  You can spot individual species coming up before the rush of May and June when hundreds of species are blooming.  In and around the red maple swamp at the end of my street in Schenectady County I have seen blooming coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara, hummock sedge, Carex stricta, skunk cabbage, and Symplocarpus foetidus.  There are also the ever-present winter leaves of garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata. – Steve Young

Alders blooming along the upper Hudson

April 17, 2009

Today I took my son fly fishing along the Upper Hudson at North River in the Adirondacks and along the banks of the river the alder catkins were blooming.

Also seen were the white fruits of poison ivy and the capsules of evening primrose, highbush cranberry fruits were still hanging on too much to my surprise.  The ice was still along the meadows at South of the Glen but it is getting sparse and thin.  See photo.  An early sedge was producing dark male spikes on the banks but I couldn’t make out what it was yet.  It was a beautiful day but very breezy. – Steve Young