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.



I’m Thinking Calico Aster . . . ?

Aster Wildflower, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Jamestown Audubon Center, NY

April through June, and those sweeties of the woods, Asters, are seen here and there. Never found in abundance, until summer moves along. Then, we notice Asters, different asters, here, there, seemingly everywhere. Whites, soft purples, bluish ones, tiny ones, larger ones. A boon for the bees, think bumblebees. Good reserve nectar, should butterflies not do well any given day. Probable destinations for moths too, no?

These I believe are Calico Asters (Aster Lateriflorus), though my National Audubon Society Field Guide to Wildflowers – Eastern Region cautions that there are several similar asters, with these narrow petals. Met them at the Jamestown Audubon Center, in Jamestown, New York, far, far away from my native Brooklyn. It was mid-July 2015 (the field guide cites August – September as Flowering Time), a tad early, but 2015 was a unique year.

This blogger, as many know, loves much, and Asters are solidly amongst the loved.