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Fifteen minutes from my home lies a little treasure–the Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary, composed of over 600 acres of meadow and forest, with several miles of blazed trails.  My children and I braved the high heat and quenching humidity on Saturday afternoon to trek over one of those trails.

Our hike began here, on a neatly mowed trail up the meadow, filled with native grasses whose names I do not know.  path through meadow

meadow grassesOf course I took many pictures!taking pictures

We saw much Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca):

milkweed flowersfield of milkweedDozens of dragonflies with gossamer wings flitted from plant to plant:dragonfly on milkweed

Here and there some wild yarrow (Achillea millefolium) bloomed:

wild yarrow

while the Crown Vetch (Coronilla Varia) spread with great abandon:meadow of goat's rue

We climbed a small dike and discovered Suydam Pond, tranquil and undisturbed:

From there, the trail entered the woods, where the shade was a welcome relief:

trail through forest

Here we saw enchanting toadstools :

Enchanted toadstool?and many tall, tall pines:entering the forest

In a clearing, we came upon a small, stagnant pond.  We heard frogs, but never saw one.algae pond at Dorflinger

The trail ended at the edge of Trout Lake, sparkling in the late afternoon sunlight, with a view of the Dorflinger Glass Museum across the way:

Girl overlooking Trout LakeGlass Museum

We took three steps over a short bridge to a tiny island, and found the final resting place for some beloved pets:

The Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) would have waved in the breeze, had there been one!And of course, being July in Pennsylvania, there were the ubiquitous orange daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva), not actually lilies, and not native to North America:Orange daylily

After our hike, we ate a picnic dinner and enjoyed a concert at the amphitheater  with its neatly terraced hillside seating.  The Sanctuary hosts several concerts throughout the summer.

concert at ampitheater(Full disclosure: this is not the concert we attended that day.  This picture was taken in late June during a concert in which my son played electric bass with a community chorus.  He is the boy in the white shirt, sitting at the corner of the stage near the piano, behind the ferns.  On the day of our hike, we actually heard the Philadelphia Brass.)

Now I must give credit to my guest photographer, also known as my son, who is responsible for the lovely shots of the yarrow, toadstool, daylily, Trout Lake, and  me taking pictures!

my guest photographer!wild yarrow close upUpdate, 7/24/13–I discovered today that I originally mis-identified the Crown Vetch as Goat’s Rue.  While the two plants do bear similarities, Goat’s Rue is taller than Crown Vetch, and its flowers grow on spikes similar to Snap Dragons.