Bonus! Under the rose growing in the mud are Creeping Bluets. This was my favorite find of the evening. Update -- not paying attention there, they have 5 petals, not four. That's actually one of the Forget-me-nots. May or may not be native.
The leaves you see are Jewel Weed.
The meadow was just hayed. As always, we are being quietly watched. Do you see it? Let's zoom in on this photo...
She's as quiet as a statue, only slinking away after I started walking towards her. Lots of people were walking up and down the Rec Path, and a couple was sitting on a nearby bench. I'll bet none of them were aware of this deer watching their every move.
Below the boardwalk is the American Burr Reed and its delightfully distinctive flowers.
This seven-foot Tall Meadow Rue also grows along the boardwalk. The leaves are what make this plant distinctive...
...growing in delicate clusters of three. There is a spring anemone with the exact same leaves named after this plant: Rue Anemone.
Leaving the boardwalk, we soon find another tall one: Water Hemlock. Not to be confused with
the similar-looking but unrelated Poison Hemlock.
The leaves of the Water Hemlock are also distinctive and look to me like the garden plant Astilbe.
Here's one of our native thistles: Swamp Thistle. It doesn't really look like a thistle, but take a closer look at the leaves...
Several caterpillar species rely on plants in the thistle family.
On somewhat higher ground now is a Fringed Loosestrife. The literature notes the plant "tolerates seasonal flooding," which is a good thing because that spot does flood occasionally.
Taking a detour onto a side trail where Means Brook and the Far Mill River meet, is the delicate Enchanter's Nightshade, growing perilously close to the Stinging Nettles (*%^&$!!). This spot also floods from time to time, but is usually dry.