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Journal

Riparian wildflowers

Zach Klein

Our forest is uncommonly verdant. Sometimes when you ramble down to the brook you realize you've descended into a microclimate. It's never too hot and a thin sheet of cool air streams above the water, everything under foot feels damp still dripping from the rainfall a few days before. I often experience the sensation that the ground is pulsing with life.

Although the vegetation is diverse, it's color palette is not. You'll find a million shades of green and rarely anything else, except for the mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) whose boughs pop with bunches of pink and white flowers in the spring. This weekend I sought other flowers and was surprised by what I found along the brook banks alone.

Many thanks to David Rueppert whose excellent gallery of New York State wildflowers helped me identify several of these.