Several days after hiking Dodge Point, I decided to drag my husband down to Waldoboro to explore both the Goose River Peace Corps and the Mill Pond preserves. I had delayed too long in investigating these sanctuaries and hoped it wasn’t too late in the season to study the vegetation. It was coming up on the second weekend in June so perhaps there would still be some early wildflowers in bloom.
As we entered the Goose River preserve I noticed that, as in Dodge Point, the flowers were gone from the Eastern Star Flower, and the Canada Mayflower looked a bit shabby. The Wild Sarsaparilla had completely gone to seed as well. But what really surprised me were some of the late bloomers that were so short lived.
For weeks I had been confusing the Lady Slipper with another plant bearing a similar leaf. Each time I pointed out the “Lady Slipper” to my husband, he kept reminding me that a true Lady Slipper had 2 leaves while this one had 4. Hmm. What could it be? After consulting my resources and examining similar plants, I suspected that it might be a Clintonia, also known as a Yellow Blue-bead Lily but I would have to wait for it to bloom. Here it was, one to two weeks after I had seen the leaves, I discovered that many of these blossoms had already gone to seed, but I did find one that confirmed my suspicions; it was a Yellow Blue-bead Lily. Further on in our adventures, I also discovered that the Indian Cucumber Root had also lost its flowers.
I was a little disappointed that many of the spring plants were past their season, but there was still some very interesting things to study during our visit to these two lovely preserves. The forest itself was absolutely lovely, inviting one to just pause and absorb the beauty of nature. Well, pausing long enough to feed the mosquitoes. When my husband had enough of me stopping to admire the views or trying to get the perfect picture, he donned a head net to ward off the swarm.
Soon enough, the path meandered next to the Goose River. The scenery was absolutely stunning and this time we really did have to stop and soak in the beauty of it all. Our travels along the river continued until we reached a little spillway where I stopped to practice some photography techniques on capturing running water. I think they came out well.
Eventually the trail merged with a snowmobile road which looped back towards the entrance of the preserve. Once there we crossed the road to explore the Mills Pond preserve. The path here was a bit narrower than the one we had just left, with the ground vegetation creeping towards the trail. There was plenty of Bracken Fern here, as well as the occasional Lady Slipper. I noticed that the Bunchberry was in full bloom.
It wasn’t long before we reached Mill Pond, where we paused briefly to study the yellow Waterlilies. The trail formed a small loop at this end of the preserve, so our return trip continued along the marshy end of the pond. Very quickly, we reached the road once more, walking the short distance to the car. Our walk had taken less than an hour, covering both preserves, but there had been plenty of opportunities to immerse ourselves in the gifts that nature had to offer.