Baldpate Mountain Ted Stiles preserve is located on Fiddlers Creek Rd in Titusville NJ.
Once upon a chilly April morning, a gang of ecologists gathered together in a search for Spring Ephemerals. Truth be told, I was looking for an excuse to botanize with a few of my favorite ecologists…so I lured them out before work with the promise of bagels and blooms. I have a fondness for down-time, when you can relax and do things simply for the pleasure of doing them rather than to complete a chore. Deadlines and meetings were closing in around me just a little too much, so I planned a short hike in order to get outside and play for an hour or two.
A group of plant nerds sharing their enthusiasm for all things botanical!Cutleaf Toothwort, Cardamine concatenata, looks picture perfect this morning!Virginia Bluebells, Mertensia virginica, about to open! It is fun to watch them begin to bloom. The flowers start out magenta pink and then turn blue. Sometimes you can get lucky and observe them grouped in a transitioning array of magentas and blues. Simply beautiful!A forest of Spicebush, Lindera benzoin, in bloom creates a beautiful yellow haze in the woods.
A close-up on Spicebush blooms.
A picture of a picture….
My favorite spring ephemeral, Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis! Here is a close up of Bloodroot flower petals. I love how a phone call does not distract from the excitement of discovering a bloom! While most of us were looking for Blooms, Jeff looked for Birds. Because “Birds” fit with my “B” theme, I will allow it 😉A Mayapple, Podophyllum peltatum, emerging from its sleep beneath the leaves. A pink Bloodroot! This is the first time that I have observed a pink bloodroot plant and on this hike, I was able to see quite a few. I am curious to know why some are pink and some are white… perhaps a sub-species or a gene variant? The white and pink ones were growing in close proximity, so I don’t know if micro-site conditions affect the flower color. These flowers are fabulous!Hepatica, Anemone nobilis!!!! I have observed the leaves in the Summer and Fall but this is the first time that I have seen the beautiful Spring Glory of Hepatica in bloom.Rue Anemone, Thalictrum thalictroides, with flower petals about to open! I love the delicate leaves and flower stalks on this plant. They shimmy so perfectly in the most gentle of breezes.I love that this Bloodroot looks like a sunny-side up egg! I really could just photograph this flower all day every day and I would never be satisfied!Christmas tree fern, Polystichum acrostichoides, fiddleheads. There is so much sweetness in the Spring that between the flowers, baby animals and fiddleheads, I can barely contain my glee!Virginia Pennywort, Obolaria virginica! This is an S2 ranked plant, which means it is imperiled because of rarity or because other factors demonstrably make it very vulnerable to extinction or extirpation (extirpation means that an organism is locally extinct). Virginia Pennywort is a sweet little plant that can be easily passed by. But when those flowers open, it is so absolutely charming.Spring Beauty, Claytonia virginica, as beautiful and perfect as can be!
The face we all make when trying to snap that perfect flower shot!