Up Close and Personal with Late May Maine.

One of the pleasures of travel to a new place is that you get to see with “fresh eyes”.

That’s what happened on the recent trip to Maine.

The was the shy grace of the violet, which could be seen almost everywhere there was sufficient sun.

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So what if there are dandelion flowers by the billions and trillions?

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They’re still lovely.  They’re beautiful in the mass, and beautiful close-up.

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When you’re “Away”, you also see plants and flowers that you don’t usually see at home.

Here on the Vineyard, we don’t have trilliums, except maybe in people’s gardens.

In Maine, trillium “season” was nearing finish. But…….

There were still some late bloomers to be seen, like this slightly ragged one, in bloom at the base of a big, two-trunked white cedar tree.

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Patience, patience, please. For the trillium to grow from seed to flowering-sized plant takes six to eight years. Provided that they’re not set back or destroyed by being eaten by deer. Trillium is a favorite food for a hungry deer.

I learned that trillium has some other names. Including “Stinking Benjamin”.

“Stinking Benjamin”?

Yep.

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In the background you could hear the sound of a rushing river.
For more on “Stinking Benjamin”, go here:
For more, go here: http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2010/04/stinking-benjamina-trillium-that-by-any-other-name-would-still-smell-as-sweet.html

Here and there were wood anemones.

Here and there in spots.

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Seen by the side of a stream.

Here and there in drifts.

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Seen on a path to a waterfall.
For more: http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ANQU

At a lakeside stop, just back from the shore, was a flowering shrub.

The blossom form of this shrub is reminiscent of some of the hydrangeas.

But it’s a viburnum.

One of its names is “hobblebush”, for it can grow to form foot-catching thickets.

We’ll briefly leave the world of plants to visit a big rock on a path to a mountaintop.

This rock was part of a family of boulders.

I’m kind of glad we weren’t there at the exact moment they arrived.

It would have been an earthshaking moment.

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What’s being admired here is rock tripe.

You guessed right—it’s a lichen.

Here’s my so-far-it’s-a-mystery flower.

Maybe my botanist friend Ellie will know.

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These were found streamside to mountainside, but I still haven’t ID’d them.
LATE-BREAKING NEWS! WE HAVE AN ID!
(See comments section…)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clintonia_borealis

Openening leaves…

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Still with their fuzzy hairs, which probably give a measure of protection on a chilly night, and might be a help in discouraging hungry bugs.

Sarsaparilla, Aralia nudicaulis, with three-branched leaves and three-branched flower buds.

As with many plants, there are lots of “common” names.

Those names include shotbush, small spikenard, wild liquorice , and rabbit root.

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So, why do you say “sassparilla” and not “sarsaparilla”?
Coming up near a stream side boulder.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aralia_nudicaulis

We return streamside to find another enchanting violet, this one white.

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I’ve saved the best for last.

Is there anything like turning a corner on a path somewhere, and seeing a flower you’ve never seen before?

Here’s that flower….

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The “Painted Trillium”.

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4 responses to “Up Close and Personal with Late May Maine.

  1. Your mystery plant looks like Clintonia borealis or woodlily, see “Wildflowers of MA, CT, and RI in Color”; Chapmans and Bessettes, Syracuse Univ. Press, 2008. (Available at Felix Neck)

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