mountain laurel sanctuary

6.26.13 ~ Union, Connecticut
Nipmuck State Forest, Mountain Laurel Sanctuary
6.26.13 ~ Union, Connecticut
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Nipmuck State Forest, Mountain Laurel Sanctuary
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Nipmuck State Forest, Mountain Laurel Sanctuary

Mountain laurel, which is in the heath family, is Connecticut’s state flower and is abundant in moderately shaded woods in this state. The flower of the native shrub produces clusters of beautiful pinkish white blooms between Fathers Day and Fourth of July in this part of the state. The foliage is evergreen so it stays green all winter long. Hiking in the woods one may come across a thicket of mountain laurel and wonder if it is at all possible to penetrate through the tangled branches that grow close to the ground.
~ Mountain Laurel Sanctuary

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Nipmuck State Forest, Mountain Laurel Sanctuary
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frog ~ 6.26.13 ~ Union, Connecticut
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Nipmuck State Forest, Mountain Laurel Sanctuary
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a whimsical woodpecker,
evidence of other human visitors

There was a blue dragonfly flitting about us (not to mention hoards of mosquitoes!) but it wouldn’t stay still long enough to be photographed.  A few days later, however, Janet found a more cooperative blue dragonfly resting on one of her tomato cages at home and sent me this picture!

dragonfly.janet.blue
blue dragonfly photo by Janet Hale

into the forest

6.26.11 ~ Pachaug State Forest
6.26.11 ~ Pachaug State Forest

Sunday turned out to be the best day for Janet and me to begin exploring Pachaug State Forest, which is the largest one in Connecticut, with a total of 24,000 acres in parts of five towns, including Voluntown, where we began.

6.26.11 ~ Pachaug State Forest
6.26.11 ~ Pachaug State Forest

We had to adjust to not having signs to identify the trees and plants we were looking at. This place is pretty wild, not like the well-marked arboretum we’re used to!

6.26.11 ~ Pachaug State Forest
6.26.11 ~ Pachaug State Forest

There were a lot of unusual mushrooms, like the red one with white dots (above) and the huge rust colored ones sticking out of a stump (below)…

6.26.11 ~ Pachaug State Forest
6.26.11 ~ Pachaug State Forest
6.26.11 ~ Pachaug State Forest
a close up
6.26.11 ~ Pachaug State Forest
a cheery clump of ferns growing on top
of a very tall stump
6.26.11 ~ Pachaug State Forest
a girl and her horse enjoying a stroll through the forest

Next trip Janet is going to introduce me to me kayaking! Wonder if I’ll have to leave my camera on the shore…