Field Trip Report: Susquehanna Wildflower Walk
This past Saturday the Maryland Biodiversity Project held a field trip to view spring wildflowers along the Susquehanna River.
We started the day in Susquehanna SP where we walked along Deer Creek. The shad were just beginning to run, so there were plenty of Osprey and Bald Eagles flying through the tall sycamores. Yellow-throated Warblers were also quite vocal throughout the day. Dutchman’s Breeches, Cut-leaved Toothwort, and Virginia Bluebells were common along the creek, and would be mainstays throughout the day.
From Deer Creek we headed up the Susquehanna Greenway that runs north towards Conowingo Dam. Cream Violets and Downy Yellow Violets carpeted the bottomlands along with a bounty of Mayapples. Unfortunately, Garlic Mustard, Multiflora Rose, and barberry are making it hard for many of the native plants to thrive along the path. We did find a nice patch of Susquehanna Trillium. These trilliums are currently being studied. For many years they were referred to as Trillium flexipes, but now most experts think they are either a hybrid swarm or a new species! We ended our walk north when we hit a large patch of Ostrich Fern growing between the path and the river.
After Susquehanna SP, we crossed over Conowingo Dam and had a quick lunch at the Royal Farms before heading to Funks Pond Recreation Area. Wild Blue Phlox was the star of the show at Funks Pond, along with a yellow blanket of blooming American Trout Lilies.
It was mid-afternoon after we finished our walk at Funks Pond. Most people decided to head home, but a few brave souls drove to Palmer SP to end the day. A long walk along Deer Creek yielded a few prizes like blooming American Golden Saxifrage, Green False Hellebore, and Two-leaved Miterwort.
It was a wonderful day and the enthusiastic trip participants made the day even better. A big thanks to Charlie Robbins whose knowledge of the local history really added to the trip experience.
– Jim Brighton, Trip Leader