Join Helen Hamilton on a plant walk at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 22, to see aquatic wildflowers and grasses. Meet at College Landing Park, 2100 South Henry Street, Williamsburg. For information and to register call 757-564-4494 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Sponsored by the John Clayton Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society. www.claytonvnps.org. Free, open to public.
On Helen's walk, you will likely see this plant, pictured here:
Saltmarsh Fleabane, or Pluchea odorata, a member of the Aster family.
Description: The purple-pink flowers of Saltmarsh Fleabane form small pubescent heads in a flattish cluster at the ends of stems and branches. The plant is 3 feet or more tall, with ovate to lance-shaped leaves, often toothed. When bruised, the leaves emit a strong odor. A similar species Camphorweed (P. camphorata) of fresh rather than saline habitats, has thinner, often more serrate leaves and a rounded cluster of flower heads, these often with granular resin globules but nearly hairless. In both these species the leaves are borne on short petioles, or taper to the base. The leaves of Stinking Fleabane (P. foetida) are broad-based, clasping the shorter stem, and the flowers are creamy white.
Habitat: Saltmarsh Fleabane requires wet soil mainly in salty or brackish habitats and is found in Virginia in the coastal counties only. The species grows from Massachusetts to Florida and Texas, chiefly near the coast, locally in the mid-west, and to tropical America Camphorweed occurs in the southern counties of Virginia while Stinking Fleabane is found in only a few southern Coastal Plain counties. Blooms August-October.
Comments from Helen: The genus was dedicated to the Abbe Pluche, French naturalist, 1688-1761.
Cheryl Jacobsen and Jan Lockwood, Virginia Master Naturalists, will join other Master Naturalist osprey watchers at New Quarter Park on Saturday, June 22, from 10 a.m. to noon to show off the birds that are nesting along Queen Creek, according to a news release.
The Master Naturalists are watching the birds as Citizen Science volunteers and certified Virginia Master Naturalists for the global OspreyWatch program, led by The College of William and Mary’s Center for Conservation Biology (www.osprey-watch.org).
The program presenters will talk about osprey migration and nesting while allowing program participants to take a closer look at the birds and nestlings through their spotting scopes. Virginia Master Naturalists who are members of the local Historic Rivers Chapter also watch osprey nesting in other locations on the York, James, and Chickahominy Rivers.
To access the program, participants will walk to the far end of the park and back, a hike of approximately one and a half miles. The osprey-watching location can be accessed by bike and is handicapped accessible by car.
In addition to their work as osprey watchers, many of the Master Naturalists also participate in other projects at New Quarter Park including monitoring bluebird trail for the Virginia Bluebird Society and mapping wildlife for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Master Naturalists also provide many hours of volunteer service to York County by pulling up invasive plant species, installing rain gardens, maintaining a teaching trail, and conducting field trips for area students at the park.
New Quarter Park is located in upper York County at 1000 Lakeshead Drive, next to the Queens Lake neighborhood.
For more information or to add your name to the New Quarter Park e-mail list, call Parks and Recreation at 890-3500 or New Quarter Park at 890-5840.
Posted by Kathy Van Mullekom; email@example.com