Middlesex Fells in August

Middlesex Fells in August

Photos taken in the eastern section of Middlesex Fells, August 9, 2008. See also the photos from my previous hikes in this section of the Fells in May and June.

Copyright (c) 2008, Sandra J. Loosemore. Photos are provided for personal viewing only; no other use is permitted without prior written consent.


My first stop was this "secret berry patch" I'd scouted on one of my previous hikes, when the berries were not ripe yet. Although not far from the trailhead I use, this is a less-visited corner of the park and few other hikers seem interested in bush-whacking off-trail, so it was very peaceful and quiet here.
The genuine blue blueberries are finally ripe.
Most of the berries here were the black high-bush variety like these, though.
Close-up of the yummy berries. This is probably my last berry hike of the summer, as it's late in the season now. I saw comparatively few green berries left, and the ones growing in sunnier parts of the patch were already turning into raisins.
Moving on, I hiked along some of the shady forest paths, where I found this blossoming sweet pepperbush growing in a damp section.
Close-up of the sweet pepperbush flowers and bee.
These yellow button flowers are tansy, a non-native species imported from Europe. They're a member of the daisy family -- kind of like regular daisies minus the petals, just the center "eye".
It being late summer now, goldenrods were also in bloom in sunny patches on the trail.
Goldenrods are also in the daisy family; here in this close-up you can see some of the tiny daisy-like flowers that make up each plume.
In another damp section of trail, there were lots of touch-me-nots growing. Here are three flowers in various stages of development.
Another touch-me-not.
I left the shady trail for a section of the Cross-Fells trail that climbed over some sunny rocks, where I found this pineweed growing.
This isn't a stream -- it's the trail. For the previous week or more it had been raining just about every day so there was a lot of water everywhere in the Fells, with all the streams and ponds full and lots of wet places on the trail itself.
It's a baby toad! This one was about an inch long, not quite as tiny as the ones I'd found a couple weeks previously in the Blue Hills. With all the rain, there were lots of bugs in the woods so they can grow fast with lots to eat. See more tiny toad photos here.
These blue berries are not blueberries, but the berries of bristly sarsaparilla; here's a photo of the corresponding flowers from my June hike.
The bristly sarsaparilla plant, with the tall stalks bent over from the weight of the berries. I didn't try the berries because I wasn't sure of the ID in the field, and I'm still not sure whether the berries are edible. The roots of the sarsaparilla (collected in the fall) are one of the ingredients for traditional root beer, though.


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