Earth Garden VII: Northern Rail Trail section

Last weekend I walked the Northern Rail Trail between Webster Lake, in Franklin NH, and Highland Lake, in East Andover, NH. It’s about 5-1/2 miles of flat walking on a wide, mainly shaded trail, crossing over Sucker Brook several times. It was a sunny day, in the mid-70s (warmer than it has been), and almost bug-free.

There was a surprising array of spring plants to notice on this section, including some that made only one appearance that I observed (comfrey; celandine; a black mustard — I think — aka Brassica nigra; some sort of Ranunculus, maybe sceleratus aka cursed crowfoot) while others flourished in sections and then were seen no more (coltsfoot), and still others were with us the whole way (Maianthemum racemosum aka false Solomon’s seal and dandelions in droves, Alliaria petiolata aka garlic mustard sparingly).

The invasive but beautiful and heavenly scented autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) at a road-crossing along one bit of the section hosted several Eastern tiger swallowtails.  I saw robins, sparrows and juncos, and heard many others. Dodged caterpillars and neon green inch worms that hung low from the trees over the path. Saw so many different kinds of ferns that I almost felt I was trying to read a foreign language as we walked; I knew that each corresponded to a name but that was as far as my fern-ignorance took me.

Hope you enjoy seeing these as much as I did!

entrance at Chance Pond Road, Franklin
entrance at Chance Pond Road, Franklin NH (actually facing east, while I walked west)
sign about making the RR on Hogback Hill
sign about making the RR on Hogback Hill
one of several pink lady's slippers
one of several pink lady’s slippers
false Solomon's Seal (everywhere)
false Solomon’s seal aka Maianthemum racemosum (everywhere)
Virginia creeper
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
sign for the Andover town line
sign for the Andover town line
low-bush blueberry
low-bush blueberry
may be Caulophyllum thalictroides (Blue Cohosh) ?
may be Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh) ?
another view of Alliaria petiolata (Garlic Mustard)
garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) flower with visitor
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) plant
garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) plant
colony of Equisetum (probably E. arvense, aka horsetail)
colony of Equisetum (probably E. arvense, aka horsetail)
interrupted fern
interrupted fern (Osmunda claytoniana)
coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) with its leaves and a photobombing fern
coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) with its leaves and a photobombing fern
spent bloom of coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
spent bloom of coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
yarrow (Achillea millefolium) in bud
yarrow (Achillea millefolium) in bud
un ID'd fern
un ID’d fern
crossing Sucker Brook
crossing Sucker Brook
retaining wall with moss and ferns
retaining wall with moss and ferns
greater celandine (Chelidonium majus)
greater celandine (Chelidonium majus)
pink honeysuckle flowers
pink honeysuckle flowers
white and yellow honeysuckle flowers
white and yellow honeysuckle flowers
probably Brassica Nigra (black mustard)
probably black mustard (Brassica Nigra)
comfrey flowers
comfrey (Symphytum) flowers
Eastern tiger swallowtail on autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
Eastern tiger swallowtail on autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) shrub
Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) shrub at road crossing
Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) flowers
Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) flowers
another Eastern tiger swallowtail on Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
another Eastern tiger swallowtail on Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
Ranunculus (probably sceleratus aka Cursed Crowfoot or Cursed Buttercup)
Ranunculus (probably sceleratus, aka cursed crowfoot or cursed buttercup)
maple leaf I like
maple leaf I like
Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
Jack in the pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) with its leaves
Jack in the pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) with its leaves
Christmas fern, I think
Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)
Red Trillium with spent flowers
red trillium (Trillium erectum) aka Wake Robin, with spent flower
dock plant (I think it's Rumex crispus, curly or yellow dock)
dock plants (I think it’s Rumex crispus, curly or yellow dock)
yellow pond lily (Nuphar Lurtea)
yellow pond lily (Nuphar Lurtea)
marsh
marsh

 

2 Comments on “Earth Garden VII: Northern Rail Trail section

  1. Just beautiful. Thanks for sharing what is right in my own backyard!

  2. I’ve been enjoying the bug-free and low-humidity air this month, too. Beautiful while it lasts! Great nature photos!

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