The Adirondack Interpretive Center is a favorite spot of mine, but visiting it seems to be reserved for rainy days only. After surviving the morning at Bloomingdale Bog, the prospect of napping away the rainy afternoon was pretty tempting, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to visit the area around Paul Smith’s. The hiking trails are beautiful, even in the rain, as they showcase what a healthy forest ecosystem looks like. I’m used to seeing woods overbrowsed by deer and full of poison ivy and honeysuckle. Not so in the Adirondacks. The understory is covered in ferns, wildflowers, and unidentifiable fungi. Any help with this one, Jennifer?
It was an excellent time for wildflowering – the spring was late, so I was treated to things that should already have been past bloom. Twinflower is a dainty little thing and was a favorite of Linnaeus, hence it’s latin name Linnaea borealis. I also found Teaberry and Starflower and Blue-Eyed Grass and huge patches of Bunchberry.
The Adirondacks seem to have the perfect climate for Lupines and other garden flowers. Imagine a field of Lupines and Orange Hawkweed with the High Peaks as a backdrop. Gorgeous! Most well-maintained homes and the storefronts in Lake Placid have huge window boxes full of flowers that wouldn’t last a minute here in NJ’s humidity. I’ll admit to some healthy gardener’s envy! (Though I imagine they can’t grow tomatoes worth a crap.)
Homes in the less-touristy areas are… um, interesting. We spend a lot of time in out of the way places and a drive through Onchiota on the way back to our hotel treated us to a house (?) covered with signs like this. Interesting, no? (This was probably the least offensive of the lot.)
A couple people took naps inside the center or watched the birdfeeders, but most of us braved the rain for a walk to the pond and marsh. Best bird here was an American Bittern that flew lazily over the boardwalk. There were some nice dragonflies and Spatterdock was blooming, too.