We saw sooooo many things blooming in Putney VT! In the Connecticut River Valley, it’s an entirely different environment. Honestly….it kinda sucked going home. Keith posted a few spring ephemeral finds in THIS POST…and here are the rest!
Did we mention we over that way to begin with for Stewardship training the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire’s Forests? It was a two day training at the Barbara C. Harris Center (BCHC) in Greenfield, NH. We had the rest of the weekend to spare when training was done…and it was spring ephemeral season in the Connecticut River Valley….so away we went.
Is there much better than a last minute adventure?
And adventure it was. While the rest of us are still struggling with melting snow and the last few moments of winter, towns like Putney in the Connecticut River Valley are welcoming spring in a huge, amazing, beautiful way!
Sacketts Brook runs behind Putney Elementary School. Cross this brook and enter a magical world of spring ephemeral wildflower nirvana.
Blood-root, or Sanguinaria canadensis is not a plant you mistake for any other! The large lobed leaves warp around the stem and bloom until it is fully open. It’s goooooorgeous.
How unique is that? Not QUITE open yet….
Next up, Dicentra cucullaria, or dutchman’s-breeches. Always fantastic.
I think that is one of my favorite pictures. Ever.
A little action…and perpective..shot! This could be called “Keith in his happy place!” We <3 Putney VT.
Maidenhair spleenwort. Asplenium trichomanes. We love all things maidenhair, we love all things spleenwort…….soooo….
Early Blue Cohosh, or Caulophyllum giganteum. You can help but look twice at that dusky blue color; such a unique color in the plant world. This flowers a week or two sooner than it’s closer relative blue cohosh, or Caulophyllum thalictoides. The word “cohosh” comes from a Native American word for “rough,” referring to the roots. And it’s said that the seeds can be ro
asted and can be a coffee substitute. If you try it, be sure to let us know! 🙂
Trillium erectum, or red trillium. I’ve never actually bent down to smell one, but they are supposed to smell quick rancid. Not to the carrion flies that pollinate them, though!
Another fav from the weekend…..a tiny trillium taking hold where ever he can!
Do you know that we have NEVER seen wild ginger? Asarum canadense, or Canada wild ginger, is even ranked in New Hampshire, yet WE HAVE NOT SEEN IT. I’m not entirely sure how this has happened. We did see these wild ginger leaves in Putney, but they were roadside, next to a house, kind of fenced in. So they could have been planted. They have wonderful little red flowers tucked under their leaves, and someday, somehow, we will see one and get a picture!
Botrychium oneidense again! This early in the season blunt lobed grapefern does not get have it’s fertile frond. This little beauty is rare in all New England states – while not officially ranked in New Hampshire, it may be soon.
Cardamine diphyilla, or two leaved toothwort seedling. We’d like to gather pictures of seedlings, flowering, and past flowering specimens for as many plants as possible….that would have certainly helped us along the way with IDs. And if you need something and can’t find it, what do you do? Make it yourself, of course!
Ramps, delicious ramps!!! Allium tricoccum, or wild leeks, cover this valley floor. Well, let me re-phrase that. They USED to cover this valley floor. Compared to the amount that were there last year, it appears as though someone came through and simple decimated this population. I’m sure they made a pretty penny selling at farmers markets or to restaurants, but come on people. Ramps are VERY prone to over-harvesting. North Carolina State University as a great article about them HERE, and per that article you can safely harvest 5%-10% of a wild population per year without effecting the population’s sustainability. The NY Times even did an article on the over-harvesting of ramps, with ramps taking 5-7 years to produce seeds.
Ramps are a forager’s dream – both the leaves and the roots are edible and taste like a slightly sweet cross between onion and garlic. However, please forage smartly. Better yet, grow your own! The same UNC link has lots of tips for sowing, maintaining and harvesting your own ramp population.
Trout lily (Erythronium americanum) leaf and sharp lobed hepatica (Anemone acutiloba) bloom. Oh, and a glorious moss covered wall in the background.
Annnnnnnd the last photo of a very long post. We actually do not know what this is! Opinions are welcome!