Thursday, August 27, 2009

Late Bloomers

While out admiring the beavers' engineering project the other day, I "discovered" some new plants.
This first one took me forever to key out! It wasn't until I was showing someone the sketch for pussytoes that I found it.
It is Arrow-leaved Tearthumb (Polygonum sagittatum).

A close look at the stem (and leaf shape) explains the name. It was growing in a dense mat (if you can call something a couple feet tall a mat) along the shoreline just below the new beaver dam.

Along the boardwalk on the other side of the Rich Lake Outlet I came across these golden yellow flowers:

This one also took me a while to key out. Turns out it is Beggar Ticks (Bidens frondosa), aka Sticktight. Now this is a plant with whose seeds I am quite familiar, but I'd never seen the plant! The seeds are brown triangles, longer than wide, with a prong sticking off each end of the short leg. These prongs are what stick tight(ly) to passing animals and people.

The flowers were very popular with an assortment of flies. You can tell they are flies, by the way, by looking for two characteristics. One: flies have two wings, not four. Having said that, I recently had a entomologist tell me that the two wing criterion can be iffy for ID. He recommended the second trait: look for the halteres. These are, as he described them, pads upon which the wings rest. They also function, I believe, as stabilizers during flight. On some flies they are quite obvious, while on others you have to really look for them.

Mushrooms were around, too:

This, I believe, is Amanita porphyria.

This yellow one, upon which the slug is dining, is possibly another Amanita.

I love these little red ones. Those are hemlock needles at their bases, so you can see that they are very tiny. Any ideas?

I loved this little one. It was in good company with a lot of little friends. Getting a close up without a real macro lens was tough, and it kept getting washed out. I love how it's growing on a leaf.

Molds are everywhere!

I think I have found the source of fuzzy pink slippers:


  1. Saw your comment on A Passion for Nature. I am thrilled to find your blog. What heavenly photos. I love the Adirondacks. Only visited twice in my life but those two weeks stand tall in my lifetime memories. You are blessed.

  2. Thank you, Trillium! You are welcome to visit the Adirondacks any time via my blog! :)

  3. Ellen, I just ID'd beggar ticks too, in my garden. Good luck with the mushrooms; they say three new species of fungi are found every day. Even with a great book like "Mushrooms of Northeastern North America" it's tricky.

  4. Nice post, Ellen, with lots of good stuff. I always thought Tearthumb should be called "Tear-shins" for all the bloody scratches I've suffered walking through marshy spots. Love those fungi! So many shapes and colors! And they never seem to look like anything in my mushroom guides.