Rutgers Ecological Preserve, Middlesex County


April 18,2013: The Highland Park Chapter of NPSNJ did a field trip to the Preserve. The place was pretty much brown because most of the vegetation was not up yet. We started at the trailhead along River Road near Cedar Lane. We walked part of the orange and blue trails.

More information on Rutgers Ecological Preserve:  map    general information     plant list 

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Hawthorn or Apple ? Hawthorn or Apple ? We were greeted with some flowering trees with lovely white blossoms. They were either hawthorn or apple. Could use some help here. 

We saw lots of spring beauty (Claytonia_virginica) and trout lily (Erythronium americanum) sprinkled throughout the forest floor. Most of the spring beauties are white. We found some very pink spring beauties. Instead of the usual pink stripes radiating from the center, the pink was a broader area starting from the center.
Spring Beauty Spring Beauty Spring Beauty

Trout Lily Cutleaf Toothwort Most of the trout lilies were not flowering. They take 7 years to bloom. But we did find some trout lilies flowers.

There was a lonely cutleaf toothwort (Dentaria laciniata) flower.

red cedar awl-like leaves red cedar scale-like leaves We came across a red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) that had both awl-like leaves and scale-like leaves.

The young plants have awl-like leaves while the mature plants have scale-like leaves.

Greater Bee Fly on mountain mint John spotted a greater bee fly (Bombylius major) on a mountain mint.

Pair of mallard ducks enjoying the creek. There were 7 of us on the hike (6 in the photo + photographer). Mallard ducks Hikers

Hope you will join us next time. 
M. Ling