Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Southville State Forest - Part 2

The dogs and I were walking the trail in the Southville State Forest and were making our way back from the St. Regis River (see Part 1, posted yesterday):

I was stopped in my tracks by a large patch of tiny pink flowers. It was Pipsissewa, a member of the Wintergreen family:

They are odd and fascinating flowers, so I tried to get a closeup. Alas, they were shiny and aimed downward, making it difficult. This was the best I could do:

The dogs were not impressed with wildflowers, and were impatient to get moving again. So that's what we did:

We walked right over some tiny Dwarf Cinquefoil, which are much like their more common relative except for size. Notice how this little plant fits in with the grass:

We took a few side trips to explore the forest, and this emerald carpet of moss was one of the rewards. Notice how Jack is enjoying rubbing in its softness:

We left the area of hardwoods and passed back into the stand of Red Pines:

We were getting close to our car:

But I saw a mossy lane and we detoured onto it for a short while:

Common St. Johnswort was in bloom. This plant is rich in legend and history. It was believed that evil spirits would flee from it. Because of its red sap, it was associated with the blood of St. John the Baptist. St. Johnswort leaves, believed to bring good luck, were used as bookmarks in bibles. It also had medicinal uses, and even today is sometimes used to counteract depression:

And a Common Mullein, standing tall against the trunk of a Red Pine. Mullein is believed by some to fight infection and inflammation. I have also heard that it was sacred to many Native Americans, which is easy to believe if you've ever come across one at night, in the glow of a full moon:

But our parked car was just up ahead and our short hike was over. We don't come often to this state forest, but it is a beauty:

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