Middlesex Fells in May

Middlesex Fells in May

Photos taken on the Rock Circuit Trail in Middlesex Fells, May 24, 2008.

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


These little plants with white flowers are Canadian mayflowers, close relatives of the common garden lily-of-the-valley.
Like lily-of-the-valley, the mayflowers spread by underground rhizomes to form huge patches of ground cover under the trees.
A froggy-looking swamp with lilypads.
Some violets growing in the woodsy part of the trail. There were white ones as well as purple ones here.
Once you get out of the woods and out onto the sunny rocks, there are wild blueberries growing everywhere. This is a low-bush variety, growing perhaps 6 inches tall. There are both flowers and green berries on this one. I expect there'll be good snacking here in another month or so!
These are high-bush blueberries, more closely related to the kind that are raised commercially. (They're certainly easier to pick when you don't have to crawl around on the ground.)
Also growing everywhere on the sunny rock outcroppings was this pink corydalis. The flowers are actually yellow and pink, very pretty.
A big patch of the corydalis.
Another froggy-looking swamp in between the rock outcroppings. This trail had quite a bit of up and down.
Some sort of cherry.
Heading off the rocks back into the trees, this is a pink ladyslipper. It's a variety of orchid.
Here's another clump of ladyslipper growing among the blueberries.
The ladyslipper flowers are about 3 inches long. Because they're so showy-looking, I was wondering why I'd never seen these native plants available in local garden shops; apparently the answer is that they're very hard to grow as they require a certain kind of fungus in the soil.
Another bunch of ladyslipper.
A small stream formed a waterfall here.
This fern was growing near the waterfall. I saw at least three other varieties of fern in the woods, too.
Two kinds of moss growing at the base of a pine tree.
Here's a view of the stream above the waterfall.
A clump of pines on top of one of the rock outcroppings. In spite of the dramatic-looking clouds in the background, it was a nice day with no rain.
This is sheep sorrel, a member of the buckwheat family. I found a big patch of it growing on some sunny rocks. The individual flowers are tiny but in a large patch like this the color is really vivid. Apparently this is a weed rather than a native plant.
A view of the Boston skyline from one of the many rock outcroppings. Middlesex Fells is easily accessible from the city -- you can even get there on the T!
Here's a patch with three different kinds of flowers all growing together: pink corydalis, blue toadflax, and white ones that looked like some variety of forget-me-not.
This looks like a blackberry bramble.
These umbrella-shaped plants with flowers growing in spherical clusters are wild sarsaparilla. They were growing in moderately shady parts of the forest.
I found this skunk cabbage growing by the side of a small stream.
Yellow cinquefoil (a close relative of the strawberry) growing in moss.
This chokecherry bush was swarming with bees.


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