Monday, May 31, 2010

Driving Through Harriman State Park

I was driving through Harriman State park the other day, fomenting against the awful presence of thousands of Japanese barberries and was impressed with how certain native species have held their own despite barberries disturbingly close by.

One image shows barberries in the middle and broom (Cytisus scopariu
s), another happy invasive, in the distance. But a little further along the road was this wonderful slope of hayscented fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula),so comfortable amidst
rocks at the edge of the woods, one of the barberry's favorite sites. Black huckleberry (Gaylussacia baccata) and Sweet fern (Comptonia peregrina)
are frequently seen along the road, close to stands of barberry, yet somehow resistant to being pushed out. And huge standing trunks of dead hemlock are there to remind us that this tree was a giant of Eastern forests. It was touching to see seedlings starting their lives at the feet of one such giant.

The showiest native in Harriman, to my mind, is Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia). It was just starting to bloom, and if you drive through the park in early June you'll be able to enjoy all the shades of the species - white, pink, deep pink, and almost red. In honor of the day (May 30, 2009) when Marni Horwitz became Marni Majorelle, I offer a last close up of this favorite of hers, Kalmia latifolia, taken in Seth's garden in Brooklyn, and looking like some fantastic candy. Bravo to Alive Structures, Eric and Marni!

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