Losen Slote Woods Were Beautiful Yesterday

Losen Slote Entrance Sign 5-3-15About 32 people joined BCAS and NJMC in the Losen Slote woods yesterday. The trails were good and muddy, but except for the rubber tip of a crutch, no casualties were reported. The birds made plenty of noise but were not easy to see among the unfolding leaves. I’ll have to rely on others to report their sightings…
I was distracted by the plants.

Clethra was everywhere – can’t wait to see (and smell) it in bloom. Black Cherry was abundant as well. I saw Arrowwood Viburnum popping up in several places, and a small patch of Highbush Blueberry. Long catkins dripped from the Gray Birch and thick spikey ones stood upright on an unidentified willow. I recognized young Sassafras by it’s fragrant green stems and clusters of tiny yellow flowers at the tips. These will put on a spectacular show when they’re in fall color.

There were ferns by the thousands – at least four types were distinguishable at this fairly early stage. Trout Lily, with it’s mottled leaves, carpeted vast expanses of untrammeled ground . I found a few spent flowers but none in bloom.  Other enthusiastic ground-covers were May Apple (in bud), Wood Anemone, and Sessile-leaved Bellwort. I also saw a couple of Turk’s-cap Lilies and a lone blue viola.

I encourage everyone to visit this lovely and unusual place; there’s not another woodland like it in the meadowlands that is open to the public. It’s like a mini-vacation.

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