Spring unfolds more slowly in northern Vermont than it does where I live in the mid-Atlantic. So we were able to catch some late spring action in the Stowe area recently. The show started in the gardens at Trapp Family Lodge, where an Eastern Chipmunk foraged among the Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) and Wild Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia),
while a Groundhog family watched nearby.
The woods at Trapps and the other natural areas we visited were lush with ferns, with a bounty of other diverse plants peaking through them.
Pink Lady’s Slippers (Cypripedium acaule) shyly raised their heads for our viewing pleasure.
Goldthread (Coptis trifolia) had finished blooming, and was setting fruit.
Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense) shown in the sun’s spotlight,
while the delicate blossoms of False Solomon’s Seal (Maianthemum racemosum) lit the trails.
A White-tailed Deer was unfazed by our visit to her domain.
Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) was in various stages of its bloom cycle in different locations. We often found it close to water.
In the woods, most of the potential pollinators were flies of various species. In the photo below, the fly on the Foamflower is harvesting pollen, a food source for some fly species.
Bluebead Lily (Clintonia borealis) was just beginning to bloom, often visited by the fly shown here.
A Robber Fly, better know for its diet of other insects than for drinking nectar, visited Dwarf Ginseng (Panax trifolius) flowers.
Dwarf Ginseng was popular with another fly visitor who unknowingly gathered pollen on its hairy body for possible dispersal to other flowers.
Near Stevenson Brook in Little River State Park,
Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophylum virginianum) bloomed a deep violet, pictured here with a flower visitor coming in for a landing.
Southern Pygmy Clubtail dragonflies rested on a fern at Sterling Falls Gorge.
Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) brightened a meadow at Trapps, the yellow nectar guides at their throats attracting a variety of visitors, incuding Bumble Bees, Eight-spotted Forester moths, Bee Flies and a Mustard White butterfly.
The Mustard White was a new butterfly for me. Its numbers have diminished in recent years because of habitat loss, and possibly also due to the increase of the invasive Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata). Mustard White caterpillars rely for food on our native mustards, such as Toothwort (Cardamine diphylla) and Cut-leaved Toothwort (Cardamine concatenata). Toothwort is present along the trails near the clearing where we saw the Mustard White, and Garlic Mustard was nowhere to be seen.
Back in the woods, two crane flies mated, doing their part to ensure that the show will continue.