Saturday, July 6, 2013

50 Shades of Green

June 9, 10 and 11, 2013
Warrensburg, NY

How rarely a man's love for nature
becomes a ruling principle with him,
like a youth's affection for a maiden, but more enduring !
All nature is my bride.

That nature which to one is a stark and ghastly solitude
 is a sweet, tender and genial society to another.

   HDT Journal, April 23, 1857

Each summer, the Botanical Society of America (and northeastern afflilates) gather for a few days of Field Excursions. This year, our friends in the Thursday Naturalists were proud hosts of the group. They had been preparing for this event all year.

                                  Ed Miller and Ruth Schottman
                            of the Thursday Naturalists

They invited my pal Jackie to be one of the evening speakers, and she and I worked together to prepare her presentation. I was there mainly for moral support !
Thus, even though we were not official members of the Society, the TNs made sure we were welcome at all functions during the week.
Home base was at the beautiful Echo Lake Lodge in Warrensburg, NY.

From there, we would venture forth to explore the Ice Meadows, Pack Forest, Putty Pond and a trail at Tongue Mountain on Lake George.
We would meet experts in all sorts of things - ferns, grasses, orchids - and they were coming to our very own backyard !
We also met folks who didn't specialize in anything, but who were, like us, eager to learn.

It was great being out in the field (literally) with these folks -- I learned a lot.
I saw new things, and  gained new appreciation for those plants we consider "common."
They aren't, in the opinion of these pilgrims who came from afar to see them (possibly for the first time.)

Several of us were busy snapping photos of the plants we saw.
Three weeks later, looking back on the hundred of photos I took during those three days,
I found that the most interesting ones are of the Observers themselves,
Of the people who share an endless curiosity and boundless love for all things green.

So can I show you, in fifty photos, what a good time everyone had?

Day One: we gather in the morning at the Ice Meadows

And then fan out, finding all sort of treats

 Canadian Burnet

 What sort of orchid is it?

 Buxbaum's sedge

My kingdom for a loupe

 Time to reflect

 Whaaaat are all of these humans doing here?
Green Frog (male)

 That's the river behind them but they find the Harebell more interesting

 Carrion Flower (female)

  It was a day of grasses...(OK it's a sedge)

 ...and grass-hoppers

 Carol, Evelyn and Jackie

 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

 Day Two: Morning at Pack Forest. 
Did I mention that it rained every day? But these folks are prepared.
Bruce, DEC Administrator, tells us of the history of Pack Forest.

In Link, I found another dedicated photographer friend


Even the non-green things were green

Someone was kind enough to turn the camera on me

Goodyera repens  (at left)

Oak Fern

Pink Ladyslippers, hangin' in there

Naughty bits of One-flowered Pyrola

Day Two afternoon: slogging about at Putty Pond

Shades of Green

Even the lichens wore green

Happy with wet feet

 Lee's Specimen Collection

Day Three: Clay Meadows Trail at Tongue Mountain, Lake George
Ed leads the way.

Goodyera pubescens

"Silent Jim"


View down the lake, from our lunch stop

Repens again

Al looking at ferny rocks

Being a herpetologist, he brought his snake-stick just in case ...
(Tongue Mountain is well-known as rattlesnake habitat)
instead of rattlesnakes, he found  ... rattlesnake plantains !

Goodyera tesselata

Why are these botanists so happy?

Moonworts !

Lots of them

This guy moved at a faster pace than us...
but how else to see all the interesting little things?

Thanks to all of you who came to visit, it was great walking with you !


  1. What a wonderful outing! Love the ferns, especially the first pic and quote. And moonworts! You lucky so-and-so!

  2. It's just so wonderful to relive this three-day adventure through your marvelous photos. I do want your readers to know that you offered a lot more than moral support to my presentation (although you certainly did do that). If not for your expertise in maneuvering the mysteries of formatting photos to make them work with the digital projector, there would have been no slideshow at all.

  3. believe me, Furry, I never would have seen moonworts, if those intrepid experts had not pointed them out to me !
    and Jackie, it's a pleasure to help you with things like that,anytime !