Five months of field work in photos

June: Training at the North Carolina Botanic Garden (NCBG), group field day at Connetquot River State Park, training/camping trip in Delaware and New Jersey, and our first few scouting trips in Long Island.

My coworkers and I posing as carnivorous plants during our training at the North Carolina Botanic Garden (NCBG).

A delicious breakfast at the NCBG training.

My coworkers, Gio and Barbara, in the Connetquot River on our first field day. Most of us newbies swamped our boots.

Eastern prickly pear cactus (Opuntia humifusa) on a beach in Delaware. Definitely a top contender for prettiest native plant of the field season.

Some cool bones on a beach dune in Delaware.

Indian pipe (Monotropa uniflora) in the Delaware woods. This plant is parasitic so it has no need for chlorophyll (the chemical used in photosynthesis that makes photosynthetic plants green).

A rare orchid, the snakemouth orchid (Pogonia ophioglossoides), in a bog in New Jersey.

More orchids in the magical NJ bog – this was one of those sights that makes up for the heat, bugs, and exhaustion. 

In addition to orchids, there were carnivorous pitcher plants (Sarracenia sp)!

Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) in some New Jersey woods. Kalmia was one of the first plants we learned to identify, and one of the lasts plants we collected (it was ripe in mid-November).

A grove of white cedar trees (Chamaedaphne thyoides) in New Jersey.

Blooming common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) in a New Jersey field – we collected milkweed’s fluffy pods later in October.

We stayed in a hotel the last night of our 7-day camping trip – I was very happy to be in a real bed again.

Virginia glasswort (Salicornia depressa) at Cow Meadow Park – the first site my field partner and I scouted on our own. We found out later that glasswort is edible (it’s called sea bean in the culinary world), but very salty.

July: More scouting, more rare plants, and our first independent collections in Long Island.

A salt marsh path in Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge from which we collected black grass (Juncus gerardii).

A rare eastern spotted box turtle (Terrapene carolina).

An ant stuck in a rare carnivorous thread-leaved sundew plant (Drosera filiformis)!

Rare carnivorous horned bladderworts (Utricularia cornuta).

Meadow beauty (Rhexia virginica) at Sears Bellows County Park. We collected this species here in September.

Our black huckleberry (Gaylussacia baccata) collection from Connetquot River State Park.

August-September: more scouting and collecting.

The beautiful crimson-eyed rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) at Merrill Lake Sanctuary.

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) at Conscience Point National Wildlife Refuge.

A boquet of marsh lavendar (Limonium carolinianum) and salt marsh fox glove (Agalinis maritima) in Wading River Marsh.

Patridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciulata) at Scallop Pond Preserve.

Chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sp.) – unfortunately I didn’t realize this fungus is edible and delicious until later!

My field partner, Emily, by the fish hatchery during our lunch break at Connetquot River State Park.

Me, quite content, collecting American sea rocket (Cakile edentula) at Nickerson Beach.

Eastern prickly pear (Opuntia humifusa) at Welwyn Preserve – I ate some of the delicious fruits on my birthday, but got a few prickles in the process.

A monarch caterpillar on the leaves of some common milkweed we were collecting.

October: some quality time in the office, then back into the field.

I spend a week and a half in the office after getting a laceration in a salt marsh from some broken glass, and I spend a lot of quality time with the office cat, Miss Kitty.

I also made lots of herbarium vouchers, including this woolgrass (Scirpus cyperinus) specimen.

Finally back in the field! Seaside goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens) and woolly beach heather (Hudsonia tomentosa) by a nice, bleavhed crab exoskeleton at Cupsogue Beach.

Dune Rd in Westhampton floods twice a day with each high tide. It was an interesting adventure to drive through.

The seed heads of some rabbit tobacco (Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium) I collected at Cupsogue Beach.

November: our last collections of the season.

A beautiful fall view at Gardiner County Park.


Another beautiful fall view, at Caleb Smith State Park.

Some very late blooming American sea rocket (Cakile edentula) in Accaounauc Harbor.

Cakiles late-blooming buddy, evening primrose (Oenothera biennis), also in Accabonauc Habor.

Eastern groundselbush (Baccharis halimifolia) fluff.

The 6PM sunset on our last day in the field.

Thanks for the great experience CLM. I hope my readers have enjoyed my posts and learned a few things about plants!



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