First Cape Cod mayflowers now blooming

It didn’t take spring long to wake up the trailing arbutus, also known as the mayflower, our state flower.

Look for them along sunny banks in pine and oak woodlands. They sprawl across the ground with tough woot leaves and are sporting buds in most areas.

Just this morning I found my first blooms and in an old abandoned wood lot in Hyannis so you never know where they may show up.

Some areas should be just gorgeous with these sweet smelling flowers very soon.

Summer Days, Wood Lilies and Bearberry Hill in Truro

This weekend has been picture perfect here on the Cape and I’ve been lucky enough to be outside enjoying it almost all weekend long. Yesterday we headed down Cape for a long meander and while doing so decided to see if the wood lilies were in bloom in Truro.

They were. It took us a while to find them because first I had to remember how to get to Bearberry Hill in Truro. On the way to finding it we found some other wonderful places and to be honest, it was such a lovely summer day we would have been hard pressed not to find wonderful scenery wherever we ended up.  Continue reading

Finding a lovely bog orchid….

One of the pleasures of wandering about with no real agenda or expectations is that one sometimes comes across a real gem….

How beautiful is this little flower? It was just standing there with another of its kind in a little old wild cranberry bog in the middle of the dunes in Sandy Neck in Barnstable and was only about 5-6″ high.. I was there leading an art and nature group this past weekend and we had special permission to do some meandering but this little cranberry bog is actually right off to the side of a main trail going out to the beach from the marsh side–about 4 miles out.

This sweet ‘bog orchid’ is known as Rose Pogonia, Pogonia ophioglossoides and according to Mario DiGregorio is not as rare as you might think. In fact, back in the day this little flower was so commonly found in cranberry bogs that young girls were paid a penny a plant to rid the bogs of these pesky “weeds.”

The other name for this plant is Snakeweed, due to its ragged, tongue like appearance. Look for it in old cranberry bogs, especially in dune areas like High Head and Sandy Neck. You can find more information in the wonderful Cape Cod Wildflowers: A Vanishing Heritage by Mario DiGregorio and Jeff Wallner.