There was plenty to see a couple weeks ago in the Williamstown Wetlands. Some of it I would rather not find. This Garlic mustard, (Alliaria petiolata)
Garlic mustard is currently invading every nook and cranny it can sneak into. It severely threatens many of our eastern native wildflowers such as, Spring beauty, Wild ginger, Bloodroot, Dutchman's breeches and Trilliums. By hogging the sun, water nutrients and space that these plants need, Garlic mustard also deprives the animals and insects that depend on them part of their life cycle. One species particularly affected is the West Virginia white butterfly (Pieris virginiensis). The butterfly depends upon several species of toothwort (Dentaria) for food in its caterpillar stage. Studies suggest that the Garlic mustard produces a toxin that actually kills the eggs of Pieris virginiensis) If you are sure of the identification, pull all Garlic mustard plants out of the ground. Just be sure that you aren't pulling out a native plant.
Other plants are harder to spot. Do you see the fern, below?
Right in the middle are the fertile fronds of a Sensitive fern (Oncolea sensibilis) These are tiny beads that contain the fern's spore. Read see a photo of Oncolea sensibilis in my own garden you may click HERE, Below is a patch that is a more mature. Its fronds are standing high, waving to a bright morning sun.
Come back tomorrow and see a some of the wildlife that was out on or over the water this morning.