Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Spring Walk in the Woods

Last Saturday my dog Lily and I took a familiar walk in the woods — only it wasn't so familiar. There were plants sprouting, woodpeckers arguing (loudly), colorful flowers, and flowering shrubs; it was finally spring in the forest.

My dog, Lily, on the Parker Brook Trail

We went back again on Sunday, camera in hand. I was able to identify some of the plants in the photos, but some are still a mystery to me. Do you know about these forest flowers, plants, and shrubs? Please share your woodsy knowledge!

Parker Brook, Pittsfield State Forest (Massachusetts)
May 2, 2010

Sprouting acorn, a.k.a. a seedling oak tree

Unknown (to me) white flowering shrub

Common blue violet

Fiddleheads. Can you harvest any type?
Do you know the fern species?

Common trillium

Unknown white to very pale pink flower;
seems to grow in patchy sun

— Kristy L. Rustay, Marketing Manager


Melanie Jolicoeur said...

I learned the hard way that you can't harvest any type of fern for eating by accidentally harvesting the wrong type (Cinnamon ferns) instead of far more palatable Ostrich ferns. I've done this not just once but several times, painstakingly cooking my yield, then wondering how on earth anyone could like them - Cinnamon ferns are very bitter. This season I gave up and bought a bag of Ostrich ferns that someone else had harvested — and they were delicious!

Ambra said...

The shrub at the top looks like a Viburnum.

leeschneller said...

The shrub is the lovely Viburnum alnifolium or Hobblebush, so named because its lax and rooting habit (visible in one of the photos) would trip horses traveling through. My favorite place to see it growing in the woods is Gulf Hagas, Maine (Katahdin Iron Works, near Brownville Junction), a fantastic place to hike and camp if you like waterfalls (some of which you can swim in!). Hobblebush has lovely fall color and is rarely available in the commercial nursery trade.
Lee Schneller