Flora and fauna of the Appalachian Trail

Here’s my unscientific list of plants and animals spotted on the AT this year (Georgia to Maine, March 5-July 22). Question marks mean I’m not yet positive about that creature.

Flora

Aspen… oddly, only at the Superfund site in Pennsylvania.

Aster

Bedstraw, a sticky grass

Bee balm

Beech, the favorite target of smitten tree vandals (F + M 4 ever!)

Bellwort?

Black eyed Susan (or is it brown?)

Blackberry, or maybe rasp-.

Bloodroot (a leaf unfolding wildly folded, a white symmetrical flower)

Bluebead lily aka clintonia:

Bluet

Briars–the young shoots of which are actually edible!

Bunchberry

Cattails, last year’s old ones

Chestnut trees, almost gone since the blight many decades ago, but still there though small

Chickweed–also edible, but to what hiker is it calorically worthwhile to reap them?

Cinquefoil, which looks like strawberry but all yellow and a creeper

Clover, both purple and white

Columbine–red and yellow

Corydalis, like half a Dutchman’s breeches (breech?) but pink and yellow

Cow parsnip

Creeping charlie, a ground cover that grew also in my parents’ yard in Minneapolis

Cutleaf toothwort

Daffodil

Daisy

Dandelion

Deadly nightshade

Dogwood

Dutchman’s breeches

False strawberry

Fern

Field pansy? Or is it just a more elaborate violet?

Fire pinks

Fireweed

Fleabane

Forget-me-not, little blue flowers with white and yellow centers

Geraniums, much prettier than the domestic variety.

Grasses

Hemlock, which is dying away due to an invasive pest

Hickory?

Indian pipes

Irises: dwarf, yellow flag, blue flag, and a multicolored one

Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Japanese stiltgrass, an invasive in New York

Jasmine? Something heavily scented in a white and yellow bower

Lady’s slipper:
image

Lamb’s quarters

Lichens

Lily of the valley

Lily pads

Lupine

Mayapple

Milkweed

Mosses

Mountain laurel… Just starting to bloom in June

Mushrooms

Oak

Partridgeberry (two flowers needed to make one berry, which has two navels)

Periwinkle?

Phlox

Pine

Pipsissewa

Pitcher plant, in a bog below Fourth Mountain in Maine

Poison ivy

Poor man’s pepper

Poplar

Ragwort?

Ramps–we’ve walked through whole patches of trail that smell like onions

Redbud

Rhododendron aka azalea, Catawba variety blooming late April!

Rue anemone

Sassafras, from whose root you can make a tea

Shepherd’s purse

Slime mold, yellow… Don’t pet it! Looks furry, but not.

Spiderwort

Spring beauty

Spruce

Squaw root, a parasite of oaks.

Stinging nettle, I think, but don’t want to find out!… Confirmed, it’s nettles.

Strawberry

Sumac

Trailing arbutus?

Trillium, pink and white, and painted, which are smaller.
image

Tulip poplar

Vetch

Violets: violet, halberdleaf yellow, white, and bicolor

Virginia creeper

Wild bleeding heart

Wild mustards

Willow

Wintergreen, whose tough little leaves are refreshing to bite but not to swallow

Wood sorrel

Yarrow

Yellow hawkweed?

 

Fauna

A red toad

Bald eagle

Bat

Bears! Black, with cubs

Beetle

Bluebird

Bullfrog (heard, not seen)

Bumblebee

Butterfly, including sulphurs and swallowtails

Cardinal

Cat

Caterpillar

Centipede

Chipmunk:
image

Cicadas, who appeared en masse on June 1 in NY, leaving their shells and wings behind, but only audible for 5 days

Cows and horses in fields

Cricket

Dog (okay, not wild, but we have seen many on the trail, including a lapdog or two!)

Duck

Firefly

Humans of all ages and varieties

Inchworm

King snake

Leech, riding on a turtle

Loon, with two young

Millipede

Mole?

Moths, Luna and otherwise

Mouse

Owl

Porcupine

Peregrine falcon!

Rabbit

Raccoon (just glowing eyes in the dark)

Rat snake?

Raven

Red eft (a newt):
image

Red winged blackbird

Robin

Ruffled grouse, who scare the bejeezus out of you by roosting low and not flapping away noisily until you are right on top of them

Salamanders, tiny brown guys under wet rocks

Scarlet tanager

Spring peepers

Squirrel

Stinkbug

Swan

Sweat sniffer bee

Tent caterpillars

Ticks, deer (ugh) and regular

Tiny red mites… chiggers?

Turkey

Turkey vultures, ugly guys indeed

Turtles, painted and otherwise

Virie, whose song sounds like a video game

Vireo (See me! Here I am! Where are you?)

Water strider

Whippoorwill (heard, not seen)

White throated sparrow (Poor Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody)

Whitetail deer

Wild ponies

Worms

One Reply to “Flora and fauna of the Appalachian Trail”

  1. I got here via the JMT blog breadcrumbs you left on Trailjournals, and I’m glad I did. Your posts are stupendous! (Likening am spiderweb clearance to winning a thousand tiny marathons might be my favorite image yet.) Please keep up the good work!

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