This morning when we got to church I poked my head outside to see if the forked bluecurls has come up yet. They had:

Forked bluecurls (Tricostema dichotomum)

Forked bluecurls (Tricostema dichotomum)


This is one of my favorites. I love the stamens. Apparently, so did the person who name the plant “forked bluecurls”, because that’s what the name is talking about.

After church, and a nap, I took Penny down to Sandogardy Pond. I wanted to see if the Pipewort was out yet. I think it’s too late now for the floating heart, so I’ve missed them this year. Oh well.

When we got there Penny went straight into the pond to cool down and get a drink. The ducks were nonplussed. They didn’t fly away, but they did back off. I took a few shots.

Ducks!

Ducks!


Not being a bird expert, I will not even try to id these. Wood ducks? Female mallard & young? I have no idea.

While looking for the pipewort, I found some Virginia marsh St Johnswort:

Virginia marsh St Johnswort (Triadenum virginicum)

Virginia marsh St Johnswort (Triadenum virginicum)


These will be in bloom for pretty much the rest of the summer. They add a welcome splash of color to the beach.

Then I saw the pipewort. This one was close to short so I didn’t have to wade in after it.

Pipewort (Eriocaulon aquaticum)

Pipewort (Eriocaulon aquaticum)

But while I was setting up to take its photo, I saw the water lobelia a little farther out. I knew I wanted a photo of one, but I didn’t want to wade, so I went farther down the beach. Not finding more, I returned, took off my boots, rolled up the pants, and went after them.

Water lobelia (Lobelia dortmanna)

Water lobelia (Lobelia dortmanna)


I should have worn swimming trunks so I could have knelt down to get a steady shot. The light was perfect, but I was bent over trying to hold the camera steady while not going in so deep as to soak my pant legs. So the shot could have been better, but I really like the soft background!

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Today I took Penny down to Sandogardy Pond. Since I have been bike riding of late rather than walking, she hasn’t had a chance to come along (it’s hard to take a dog on a bike ride).

When we got there, it was a tad crowded, with eight or ten people swimming in the pond and another dozen or more sitting on lawn chairs on the beach. Kids were immediately drawn to Penny, and Penny made it clear to them that she would like them to throw sticks. So they did. Meanwhile, I took pictures of some of the flowers blooming at the water’s edge.

Indian tobacco (Lobelia inflata)

Indian tobacco (Lobelia inflata)


I found some Indian tobacco growing all up and down the beach. I posted a shot of some of this yesterday, but I think this one is better. Another lobelia is water lobelia (L. dortmanna).
Water lobelia (L. dortmanna)

Water lobelia (L. dortmanna)


I think this is the prettiest lobelia. They are somewhat more difficult to photograph, as they grow out in the water complicating the use of my tiny tripod, and there’s not a lot of flower there making it hard for the camera to find what to focus on. But this photo came out pretty nice.

Pretty soon Penny was trying to get me to throw sticks instead of the kids (they were throwing them into deep water where Penny has a hard time retrieving them). The kids followed and began peppering me with questions.

“Whatcha doin’?”
“What kind of plant is this?”
“Are you taking pictures of frogs?”
“Do you want me to catch one for you?”

I didn’t want them to catch any frogs, but was powerless to stop them. They only caught one, and it was an unusual one.

Pickerel Frog (Rana palustris)

Pickerel Frog (Rana palustris)

No telling where its fourth leg went. My guess is that it just never developed (I was going to say that it was born without it, but duh – all frogs are born without legs).

Penny was getting pretty tired, and the kids kept throwing sticks for her. She needed to rest, but wouldn’t as long as there were willing stick throwers about. I ended up calling her away so she could lie down and drink.

The kids tried to follow as we set out down the trail along Little Cohas Brook, but their parents called them back. We went down to the bridge (where the trail crosses the creek) and I spotted what I initially thought was a stand of Joe Pye weed. I went in for a closer look.

Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)


Nope. It was swamp milkweed (Asclepias incaranta), and it had a large contingent of butterflies. Nice. This is a milkweed I don’t see that often.

Penny followed me into the mud for a look at the milkweed, but unlike me, she was not careful to keep her feet clean. So we went back to the pond. I threw a stick in the water to get her to go in and wash some of that off. It worked, and she was soon presentable again. Then we headed back to the house.

White-spotted Sawyer Beetle (Monochamus scutellatus)

White-spotted Sawyer Beetle (Monochamus scutellatus)


This guy (or gal, I dunno) was hanging out on my deck yesterday. This is the best shot I manged to get, even though the antenna protrudes out of the frame. :-/

I also should report that I went down to Sandogardy Pond on Saturday for the first time in three weeks, and saw a couple of new species in bloom for the season. Here they are:

Pipewort (Eriocaulon aquaticum)

Pipewort (Eriocaulon aquaticum)


Water Lobelia (Lobelia dortmanna)

Water Lobelia (Lobelia dortmanna)


Spotted Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata)

Spotted Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata)


Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)

Today Beth and I took Penny down to Sandogardy Pond right after breakfast. When we got to the pond, we came across a flower I did not recognize. I haven’t yet tried to identify it, so if you know what it is, please tell! Looks like it’s probably a Bur Marigold (Bidens cernua).

Bur Marigold (Bidens cernua)

Bur Marigold (Bidens cernua)

Next we saw some Wild Mint (Mentha arvensis). Some people are crazy about this stuff. I’ve nibbled it, and yes, it does taste minty, but I would not ever be likely to go out of my way to get some.

Wild Mint (Mentha arvensis)

Wild Mint (Mentha arvensis)


Then we saw this New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae). They’ve been in bloom for a while, but I thought this was an especially nice specimen.
New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)

New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)

There were lots of water lobelias (Lobelia dortmanna) growing at the edge of the pond, mostly in the water. We haven’t had a lot of rain here lately, even when you factor in Hurricane (err… Tropical storm) Earl, so the pond is shrinking back from its normal water line, stranding these. That did allow me to get a nice shot without getting my feet wet though.

Water Lobelia (Lobelia dortmanna)

Water Lobelia (Lobelia dortmanna)


Growing right among the lobelia was some Bladderwort (Utricularia inflata). This is one I had never noticed until this year. It’s carnivorous which makes it cool by default.
Swollen Bladdwrwort (Utricularia inflata)

Swollen Bladdwrwort (Utricularia inflata)


We left the pond and headed down the trail along the stream to check out the Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) I had found last week. Peterson says you can eat the root (a corm), so I dug one up. I have to let it dry out before I eat it though. It cleaned up nicely after I got it home.
Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) corm

Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) corm


After harvesting the corm, Beth said she wanted to take a hike (which is what we were already doing in my opinion). I took that to mean she wanted a longer hike, and I was up for that. So we crossed the stream and walked up the dirt road that runs along the other side of the pond. There are several houses there. A couple of years ago when we were walking on this road we met a lady who lives in one of those houses. She has a huge garden. And now she has a nifty four-legged scarecrow.
Four-legged Scarecrow

Four-legged Scarecrow


We walked all the way until the road reaches Route 132 and then turned around. When we got home I rinsed the dirt out of Penny’s leash, and Beth came out with my camera. “There’s a moth you would like to take a picture of, so I brought you your camera.” She was right! It was a cool moth.
Unidentified Moth

Unidentified Moth


Again, I have not made any attempt at identification, so if you know what it is, I’d like to hear about it!

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine from church described to me some plants he had seen in his woods. He wanted to know if I could identify them. One of them I nailed from the description as Wild Sarsaparilla, which I wrote about yesterday. The other two I couldn’t guess from the description.

Today at church I brought him a little of the tea I had brewed yesterday, and he brought in the two specimens which he (or his wife) had potted. The first was Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata).

Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila umbellata)

Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila umbellata)


I had never seen it before in real life, but I did know that it shares the Chimaphila genus with the pipsissewa (C. umbellata) I wrote about earlier this week. See how similar the flowers are?
Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila umbellata)

Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila umbellata)


Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)

Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)

The second plant had me somewhat befuddled. It looked kind of plantain-ish, but the leaves were starkly variegated. He had described it as looking like a spider web, but his wife thought it looked more like snakeskin. If I had put two and two together, I would have had its id, but this is another I had never seen before:

Downy Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens)

Downy Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens)


When I got home I found it in short order in one of my field guides: Downy Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens). Nice.

He gave me the Rattlesnake Plantain, and I am going to plant it somewhere in my woods. I’m not sure where I’ll put it, but I will put it in the shade since that’s where he had found it.

From what I read about it, this plant is more common in southern New England. Also, because the leaves reminded the Native Americans of snake skin, they used it to treat snakebite (though not efficaciously). The shape or appearance of a plant being similar to a diseased organ (such as the liver in the case of liverwort) or a disease cause (such as a snake in the case currently under consideration) is not generally a reliable indicator of its pharmaceutical virtues.

When we got home from church, and after we had some lunch, Beth, David, and I took Penny down to Sandogardy Pond. There were some new blooms there too:

Virginia Marsh St. Johnswort (Triadenum virginicum)

Virginia Marsh St. Johnswort (Triadenum virginicum)


Water Lobelia (Lobelia dortmanna)

Water Lobelia (Lobelia dortmanna)


Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus)

Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus)


I especially liked the way this last photo turned out.