Cousin to my 3 Cherokee red Dogwoods

Bunchberry wildflower, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Watts Flats Wetland, NY

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.

Jeff

 

Darners Because . . . I Can

Darner, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Watts Flats Wetland, NY

The objectives at Watts Flat Wildlife Management Area in western New York? Orchids, wildflowers & butterflies. 2016 has proved to be a challenging year, what with very few butterflies to be found. Every Monarch seen is cause for, well, celebration. Those Baltimore checkerspot butterflies at the Jamestown Audubon Center’s Reserve (again, western New York) were more juice to the system. Meeting bog copper butterflies at Allenburg Bog (western New York) was totally exhilarating! Those Zebra longwings in Kathleen, Georgia (south of Macon) evoked many thoughts: graceful, beautiful, poetic, languid flight, fresh, . . . .

The Watts Flat hike dished up neat wildflowers, especially Bunchberry. Then this darner was spotted. Darners trigger curiosity, wonder and awe, as they effortlessly shoot at some speed from here to there.

Waste film on this beaut, who accepted my robotic approach to within 16″ of its personal space? Sure.

A winged beauty, certainly. A winged beauty that insists that you pause, and examine its complex form & beauty.

Jeff