Yep, I gave in and went back to my favorite local haunt this morning, the Naugatuck State Forest. I did a shorter walk than usual, so this will be a relatively brief post -- I did learn some cool things while I was there, though....
Thing #1: I met someone in the woods who asked me if I'd gotten a picture of the Black Bear yet. (What?!) Apparently a couple of people have seen a bear recently, deeper in the forest. I haven't decided yet whether this means I should extend my walks in hopes that I see it, or if I should limit them in hopes that I don't. :P In all seriousness, though, I will be careful.
Thing #2: The strawberries are all gone, and I missed them. I did, however, procure some seeds from the only half-eaten berry I found remaining, to see whether I can get some plants growing in my garden at home. (I might have also taken a few runners as well.)
Thing #3: The jewelweed (i.e. touch-me-not) is already covered with fun burstable seed pods (I exploded a couple myself), even though I never saw any flowers:
It's certainly possible that I could've missed the flowers on these plants, but the whole situation seems a little strange. The sources I've checked say that jewelweed plants bloom in July and later, so why are there seed pods now? And since I didn't see the flowers, I'm not sure whether these plants are Pale Jewelweed or Orange Jewelweed. Oh well, I'll enjoy these festive seed-bombs regardless of their species or whether it's the "correct" time for them or not. :D
Here are a couple more interesting sightings from today's trip: a Louisiana Waterthrush, bobbing its butt as it prowled through the underbrush (if you watch a video of these guys you'll see what I mean):
And a lovely sprawling rose (either Virginia or Carolina, I'm not sure which) just bursting into bloom:
I love how even on relatively short walks, I still get to see a lot. Hooray for the woods. :)