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Runtrails' 2005 AT Journal
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MARCH 27, 2006

"All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today."
-  Indian Proverb


Beautiful tall purple verbena-type flowers and cat tails in New Jersey's Vernie Swamp on Day 91

This is the second of two parts about whole fields, hillsides, swamps, and woods full of wildflowers that I observed and photographed last summer along the Appalachian Trail.

I've included the approximate dates when I found these floral displays (see the daily journal links for the specific dates).

Keep in mind that the weather plays a huge part in the timing of blooms. Check a local source regarding bloom times before heading any great distance to see a particular flower or flowering shrub or tree at its peak. For example, many flowers in the Roanoke, Virginia area (where I live) are blooming about two weeks early this spring because of an unseasonably warm winter. Next year they might be two weeks later than normal. That's a large spread.

Let's continue our wildflower display in the mid-Atlantic states . . .


I found some of the prettiest flowers along the whole AT on a tiny strip of land north of Pine Grove Furnace between the Gettysburg Railroad tracks and Hwy. 34 on Day 64. A close-up shows the flowers' details. I believe they are crown vetch.

I saw large clusters of orange tiger lilies several places along the Trail north and south of Boiling Springs on Days 64 and 65:


I enjoyed running this nice, smooth path through a field of purple flowers on Day 72 near PA 443.

Although I identified them as clover in another photo that day, I think they are possibly either spotted knapweed or wild bergamont AKA purple bee balm. I can't magnify even the large original photo large enough to see exactly what they are, and this picture is much smaller. (That's Blue Mountain on the horizon in the photo below.)


I saw more of the same purple flowers as above in New Jersey on Day 91.

The same day I saw tons of another kind of purple flower, much taller than the ones above, through the Vernie Swamp area (I even saw lots of them along the freeway at Delaware Water Gap on my first day in New Jersey). I think they may be blue vervain, part of the verbena family.

These beautiful flowers were over my head. There is a photo of them at the top of this page and an enlarged detail in the second picture below from Vernie Swamp.


They're prolific in the "drowned lands" of New Jersey. My best guess is that they are purple loosestrife, a beautiful but harmfully invasive plant in the wetlands of eastern USA.

I saw a different kind of pinkish-purple flower and many more of the tall purple ones the next day in the beautiful Pochuck Swamp area:




These flowers also covered the Great Swamp near Hwy. 22  in New York on Day 97:



I reveled in all the beautiful flowers I saw on Day 102 (August 9, 2005) between Jug End and Tyringham Main Road - those twenty-five miles were very scenic and runnable, too! Doesn't get much better than that.

Just north of the Shay's Rebellion monument I started running into my favorite tall purple flowers again (loosestrife, I think), shown in the background of the next photo, along with another kind of purplish-pink flower in the foreground.

This is an enlargement of the flowers in the foreground. Some are lighter than others. Identity?? They were about four feet tall and very attractive.

Loosestrife were also in abundance along the placid Housatonic River:

White and yellow flowers abound in the foreground, below, while orange ones carpet the field on the other side of the Housatonic River:

I loved the wide color range of flowers in the field below, located near the end of the run that same day:


The only two days in Vermont that I saw large expanses of wildflowers were Days 112 and 113 north and east of the Woodstock area.

The first photo shows a hillside near VT 12 that was covered in goldenrod and several varieties of red, pink, and purple flowers on August 19:

The next morning I crossed two foggy hillsides full of pretty purple heather (I think) . . .


. . . and ran through a field of tall, wet goldenrods that almost hid the Trail:

I remember one more field full of goldenrods and some type of white flower just over the New Hampshire line on Day 114, but don't have a good photo of it.

There were some individual flowers and smaller clumps the rest of the way to Mt. Katahdin during the end of August and early September, but no more large floral displays like the ones above.

Next on my agenda are swamps, then jungle-like areas.


"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody, and Tater

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2006 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil