Saturday, April 10, 2010

Birchbank Wildflowers

If you appreciate early spring wildflowers, now is the perfect time to visit Birchbank Mountain Open Space. If you park on Birchbank Road at the RR crossing (the parking spot is currently in sad shape) after only a few hundred yards you will be surrounded by a blanket of Dutchman's Breeches.
Walk along the flat old road (it gets muddy from the illegal ATVs), skipping the left turn up the hill marked by white blazes, until you get to Upper White Hills Brook, which is split in two. Not far up the bank is the cascades (above). This spot is amazing for spring wildflowers -- All the flower pictures below were found along the stream and trail in that one spot.

Red Trillium - a favorite.

Blue Cohosh, almost in bloom. The big blue berries persist into the winter and are striking.

False Hellebore. Not in bloom, but an attractive alternative to skunk cabbage. There's lots of it there.

Trout Lilies are traditionally in bloom on April 15 - opening fishing day.

Unidentified species of violet. The yellow ones are not as common.

Cut-Leaved Toothwart.

Dwarf Ginseng.

Be prepared for some mud and water crossings. The ATVs have just made a mess of this otherwise beautiful old colonial road.

A neat pair of tracks: a raccoon hand next to a pair of tiny mouse or chipmunk tracks.

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