Please note: Thanks to Allan, Al and Joan for getting the plants identified.
The New England Wildflower Society (“NEWFS”) occasionally sponsors field trips for their “PCVs” (i.e. plant conservation volunteers). This past weekend was was the occasion of the most recent of these.
Nine folks total… staff, PCVs and two husbands gathered in Pittsburg, NH for a weekend of botanizing. I (one of the husbands, obviously?) tagged along for the adventure in general and the hope of some “interesting” odes.
The far north of NH is interesting ecologically since it represents the southern limit of the range for some species found mainly in Canada (plants and odes included) so we were all hoping to see new “stuff”.
Joan and I left the house mid-morning on Friday with camper in tow. We meandered north up the center of NH (staying west of I-93 until Franconia) studiously avoiding the highways. We passed through Kinsman Notch (the second nicest of the notches*) in the White Mountains and arrived at the Mountain View Cabins and Campground in Pittsburg by the late afternoon.
After a home-cooked dinner with much great food, we spent the evening observing the neighborhood moths as one of the participants had set up white sheets and lights to attract these critters. I had heard about this activity before but this was my first time experiencing it. Very interesting!
On Saturday morning, after a breakfast of homemade blueberry pancakes, we headed out to the South Bay Bog (part of the Connecticut Lakes Natural Area) and spent the day slogging through the bog in search of rare plants (especially orchids) and odes. The search for plants was a rousing success. The search for odes was less successful as the weather was not ideal (temperature in the low 70′s and cloudy). I did observed a couple of emeralds, a few sphagnum sprites and a couple of unidentified dragonflies but did not make any photographs of them.
Rather, I figured “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” and concentrated on photographing the vegetation.
Wild Flowers in and around South Bay Bog
On the way back to the campground, we stopped at a spot where there was a large concentration of butterflies nectaring on the roadside flowers. (Also included in this set are other “miscellaneous” photos.)
Sunday morning we awoke to scattered rain showers, but we headed out again for a second morning of botanizing in the East Inlet area**. The group was successful in finding a number of the rare plants they were looking for. I saw a single ode (a female meadowhawk) during one of the lulls in the rain and, again, entertained myself photographing the flora.
Wild Flowers Near East Inlet
As the weather continued to be iffy, the group broke up around lunch time. After a quick sandwich at the Lake Francis boat launch with a few of the others, Joan and I pointed the car and camper south. We took an western route home, hugging the Connecticut River as much as possible until we hit the Hanover area where we followed NH 10 (which veers east there) to NH 31. We arrived home about 7 PM.
A good time was had by all!
* The nicest notch… that would be Jefferson… the one driven by hardly anyone!
** We’ will definitely be headed back to East Inlet as it looks like spectacular canoeing/kayaking territory.