Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Housatonic Flats, Great Barrington

Last week I stopped at Housatonic Flats on Rte 7 in Great Barrington to walk the trails. In May, the Tuesday Berkshire Hikers helped pull out barbed wire here. (See my blog about it.) It's amazing to see how it has changed! The vegetation is tall and lush. Unfortunately, I had no bug repellent, because the mosquitos were fierce. I was OK if I kept walking, but when I stopped to take a photo, they swarmed me!

The Joe-Pye-Weed is just coming into blossom.
I saw a few of these intensely-yellow Common Tansy.
The Purple Loosestrife is a seriously invasive species
which crowds out native plants in swamps and wet areas.
It is a beautiful color though, isn't it?
My flower book said that few native insects forage on the blossoms,
however this bee seemed to enjoy its nectar.
Only one flower was out so far on this tall Bull Thistle.
The trail has many views of the Housatonic River.
The Bouncing Bet along the wide mown path was tall and beautiful.
The Milkweed flowers are past
and the pods are just beginning to grow.
I saw lots of these tiny air-breathing land snails,  amber snails,
on the milkweed leaves.
I know this is nettle and didn't want to touch it on the path.
When I identified it at home I found out that it is called False Nettle.
So it is in the nettle family but is not the stinging variety.
But better safe than sorry!

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