Tag Archive | Nature Story

Endangered in New York, Extirpated from Pennsylvania

Endangered in New York, Extirpated from Pennsylvania

Walking through a pine barren habitat where pitch pine, oak trees and heaths dominate the landscape, I came upon a disturbed area where the sandy soils were saturated with water and sedges, rushes and grasses dominated the opening. There were dozens of orange flowers on short stems along with sundews where the vegetation was less […]

The Plant with Many Names

The Plant with Many Names

It is called silverweed because when you dip its leaves into water the leaves show a silvery glow. It is called ladies ear drops because its flowers dangle like earrings from a girl’s ears. It is called jewelweed because the rain and early morning dew resemble jewels on its stems. It is called touch-me-not because […]

Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus

Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus

When I lived and worked in New York and visited beaches along the north shore of Long Island in the summer, the sheltered areas of the beachfront were dotted with the yellow blossoms of the prickly pear cactus. You normally associate cacti with deserts, but the sandy dry soils beyond the reach of high tides […]

The Unobtrusive Orchid

About thirty years ago, while conducting an environmental program for an elementary class, a strange plant caught my eye as I led the students on a trail through a freshwater wetland area in a state park preserve in New York. The plant was about eight inches tall, purplish brown with a spike of tiny blossoms […]

Saving Wild Orchids

Saving Wild Orchids

Out in eastern Long Island, New York, one summer’s day a colleague and I visited a bog surrounded by dunes to determine the health of the habitat. As we approached the area we noticed pinkish/purple flowers growing throughout the bog amongst bulrushes, sedges and wild grasses. At the fen, we discovered the flowers were part […]

Helping an Endangered Orchid

Helping an Endangered Orchid

When I worked for state parks in New York on Long Island, one of my responsibilities was to monitor the populations of rare plants. I do not recall what year it was, but it was in the 1990’s when we had a very dry summer. In July of that year, I happened across the crested […]

Wild Orchids Part 1

Wild Orchids Part 1

When you think of orchids, large showy blossoms of various colors seen in plant centers is what comes to mind to many people. But the wild orchids of the northeastern U.S. are smaller and tend to be a single color. Summer in the north is the time of year to find various species of wild […]