Saturday, 28 May 2011

Stephen's Gulch Conservation Area -- May 28th, 2011

It's been a long time since I made it up to Stephen's Gulch, not because it's far, it's less than a half-hour from town. Jane joined me today for about a 4 mile hike around it.

Update: Some have been asking where Stephen's Gulch is. Here's a couple links...
The easiest way to get there is to go east on Taunton about 8 miles (?) and then south on Bethesda Rd for less than a mile to Stephen's Mill Rd. The entrance is signed.

This one has a link to Google Maps for the Gulch...

As I always find, each area seems to have a different mix of wildflowers, along with some of the usual suspects.

There were 100s of Trilliums there but I think we found the only two late bloomers. All the rest had shriveled blossoms.

Even when they've lost their blossoms though, their leaves are still striking.

The creek that runs through the Gulch.

Water Strider-- These guys fascinate me. They live on the surface of quiet water and yet don't break the surface. Surface tension is enough to hold them up.

Water Strider on the surface and his shadow on the creek bottom.

Starflower-- another beauty.

This is another case of not being able to see the detail with our eyes. You can only see the detail on the toad in a close-up image.

Future pine cones...

False Solomon's Seal is everywhere.

On some of the trails there are large patches of Poison Ivy.

Lots of Wild Strawberries.

Not sure what this is but the overall plant looks similar to the Mayapple.
Update: This is Wild Sarsaparilla. Thanks Doug.

An odd looking growth of something that caught Jane's eye.
Update: This is Mitrewort. Thanks Gerry.

Someone told me what this is but I forget.
Update: Wild Lily-of-the-Valley. Thanks again Gerry.

Another mystery...
Update: John Foster ID'd this as Giant False Solomon's Seal. Thanks John.

And another... 
Update: Clintonia-- thanks Gerry.


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