June in western New York, at Watts Flats Wetland Reserve. I went there to find butterflies. As happened too often in the U.S. northeast this 2016, I found few butterflies. In ’17 I expect this disappointment will see some academic explanation. To date, that is not yet available.
But this June 2016 day brought new acquaintances. Among them was this stand of diminutive elves, boasting their bright white blossoms. Several dozens of them. Crouching down, the thought was immediate. I kind of recognize these flowerheads. It later dawned on me. They resemble the blossoms on my 3 Cherokee Red Dogwood trees, on my Pittsburgh lot.
When I got home, I grabbed my National Audubon Society field guide, Field Guide to Wildflowers – Eastern Region. This is the only herb in the dogwood group.
It is Bunchberry ( Cornus canadensis ). It is uncommon, and difficult to find. We found it here, near Busti, New York. It’s about 4″ tall, and when you happen on it in cool, wooded edges, you s-t-o-p, knowing you have just found something, well, novel.
It makes for a fine, memorable day. Admi$$ion fee here at Watts Flats? Zero.