|Blackberries (Rubus spp.) - sweet, tangy and seedy|
I had three intelligent, interested, attuned folks join me. We quickly dubbed ourselves the Four Musketeers, since all four of us had first names that began with J (well, my middle name begins with J).
This month, all the action's in the meadow along the Beech Springs Trail. The woodland tree canopy, summer-dense, combined with the unbroken spicebush layer (Lindera benzoin), casts deep shade on the forest floor. The spring ephemerals are gone, and only a few first-year garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) plants hang-on in the gloom.
|A field of goldenrod (Solidago spp.), blooming well ahead of "schedule"|
|Joan capturing an image of early-blooming goldenrod|
|Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)|
|Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia serotina) and Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)|
|Ripening seed pods have replaced the globular purple flowers of Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) so abundant last month|
|Grape vines (Vitis spp.) sprawl over vegetation throughout the meadow|
|The delicate flower spike of Small-flowered Agrimony (Agrimonia parviflora), a plant whose leaves vaguely resemble those of marijuana (so I've been told)|
|Short-toothed Mountain Mind (Pycnanthemum muticum), a species with rather broad leaves. Virginia Mountain Mint (P. virginianum), which has narrow, needle-like leaves, also grows in the meadows.|
|A first appearance for Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)|
|Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), a denizen of the driest meadows|
|Eastern Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium dubium)|
|A closer view of Joe-Pye Weed's delicate flower|
New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) just coming into bloom
We found just one Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata). This species always seems to be bedeviled by aphids.
|Joan, Judy and Jim on the Eagle Scout Bridge|
|Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus), fringing one of the Beech Spring runs, becomes less evident with each passing month|
|The gathering dark in the forest|
|The setting sun's nearly horizontal rays illuminated the woods|