December 7, 2019

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Boott’s Rattlesnake Root

I love wildflower hunting but for me there’s one drawback, my memory.  The older I get the tougher it is to remember all the hundreds upon hundreds of wildflowers I’ve identified and taken images of.  However, there are two key features I’ve found that help me remember some individual flowers. Those two features are habitat and common name.  I find that the more colorful the common name the better the chances are that it will forever be embedded in my memory. Some wild flowers just have a name that’s just to cool to forget.  Take for instance Boott’s Rattlesnake Root, Prenanthes boottii also known as Alpine Rattlesnake Root the name just has that certain pizazz, boots_rattlesnake_root_flower3 I couldn’t forget that if I tried.  The habitat in which a wildflower grows also is a great tool to aid my memory. Certain plants grow in certain places, swamps, fields, roadsides and mountain tops to name but a few.

Boott’s Rattlesnake Root is one of those species of wildflower that is extremely limited to where it will grow, you’ll only find it on mountain tops. Even more specific than that it’s only found above the treeline on mountains over 4’500 feet. And to be even more specific it’s only found on a select few high peaks in the states of New York, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. I feel truly honored to have had the opportunity to gaze at this beautiful rare wildflower. How rare is this species you ask?  Prenanthes boottii is an endangered plant, endangered for those that don’t know the meaning is just a step or two above extinction.

Oddly enough the same people who are getting back to nature hiking the distant peaks are the main threat to this fragile plant. Hikers above the tree line who trample over the plants and erode the fragile soils from the constant barrage of foot traffic threaten this wildflowers existence.  Of course we can’t throw blame on people that may not even know about the plight of this flower, the best we can do is educate people on what to look for and the key identifying features of Boott’s Rattlesnake Root so they can avoid walking over it and help protect it’s habitat.

P. boottii flowers from July through August and grows to a height of around 12 inches. boots_rattlesnake_root_flower4 The individual flowers of  P. boottii are white to whitish cream in color and nodding. There are usually 10 to 20 flowers in a narrow raceme along the top of the stem.  Each showy flower has up to 20 rays (what most people refer to as petals) with notched tips, you’ll also notice several long stamens protruding from each flower head. Each individual flower is from  3/4 of an inch to one inch wide.

 

 

The leaves of the Boott’s Rattlesnake Root have long leaf stalks, the leaves may be oval, elongated or triangular in shape and may also have  have small pointed lobes present on the lower stem leaves. The basal leaves are usually arrow shaped. The leaves may be up to 2 inches long with each having a smooth margin.

 

boots_rattlesnake_root_leaf3 boots_rattlesnake_root_leaf2 boots_rattlesnake_root_leaf1

 

Of the few alpine peaks that Boott’s Rattlesnake Root is found in the Northeast most are accessible only via a long hard hike on foot. There is however one peak in New York that has of all things an elevator to the top. Whiteface Mountain which is 4,865 feet in height is easily reached by car up the paved road. The road brings you nearly to the top where you can either climb up the built in steps or take the elevator up from the parking lot.  On any given day in the summer there are literally hundreds if not several hundred visitors to the top of this peak each day.  I certainly don’t think that’s a bad thing, it gives people who can’t physically climb a mountain a chance to have that experience.  What I do find very unfortunate is there is no mention of this fragile plant anywhere to be seen.boots_rattlesnake_root_plant There simply is no education  of the public on where to step, what to look out for, what not to pick or even that this peak is home to a endangered species of wildflower.  Hopefully those who are in charge of the facilities there will realize that a little education goes along way and they will at least place a kiosk that explains what a fragile ecosystem they’ve entered.

 

It’s my hope that Boott’s Rattlesnake Root doesn’t only become a memory in my mind but thrives in these alpine areas for eternity.

 

Enjoy the Outdoors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help Wanted – Wildflower Photographers

evening primrose

It’s been along time coming and I put it off several times already over the past few years but now we’ve finally, seriously started to piece together a wildflower app for the Eastern part of the country.  Were hoping to have the app completed for a Spring 2014 release.

fireweed

That’s a big IF and I won’t be surprised if it’s actually more like Spring 2015.  The app once complete should feature roughly 1,200 wildflowers  found in the Eastern United States and Canada. This will be the most complete wildflower app going and it’s a huge undertaking which is why were looking for people across the Eastern US and Canada that might like to help id and photograph flowers for the app.

I can’t promise you’ll be famous but I can promise each individual that contributes over 25 species, full image sets of the plant, leaf and flower, will have their own page in the app. Each contributor page will feature an image of the photographer and their own personal bio. If you love the outdoors, own a camera and have a thing for nature you might just be interested in becoming part of what will be the best app for wildflower identification going. Drop us an email mynature@mynatureapps,com  we’d love to have you.

Enjoy  Nature : )

Garlic Mustard

Wildflowers are one of the most beautiful parts of Nature, a palette of colors that paint the landscape.

Garlic Mustard plant

Garlic Mustard, Alliaria petiolata is no exception. Clusters of small white four petaled, one of the early Spring bloomers, very pretty and very delicate looking.  So why do I pull them up whenever I see them growing?  Well, because they’re an invasive species of plant.  Invasive species are plants that aren’t common to an area, they spread quickly and overwhelm the native species that commonly grow in a certain ecosystem.  Some invasive species can actually produce chemicals that invade the soil around them and prohibit native plants from growing. They assure the survival of their own species and eradicate the native plants that inhabit the area.  Like most invasive species of plants Garlic Mustard is not fed on by insects or herbivores such as deer and rabbits. This aids in their ability to anchor themselves in an area and eventually wipe out all other species of wildflowers and grasses.  This continues up the food chain as well. Once the plant becomes established insects that feed on or nested in the native plants begin to disappear and in turn birds that fed on those insects disappear. It’s amazing on how one simple plant can have such a negative effect on an ecosystem.

Garlic Mustard flower

The plant is however edible for humans and is why it was introduced here to North America in the first place.The seeds and leaves are both edible and can be ground or chopped to be used  as seasonings.  When trying to identify Garlic Mustard look for  plants with small white flowers no more than one quarter inch wide in clusters on the ends of the plant stem. Each small flower has four petals. The leaves on the plant are alternate on the stem, with long leaf stalks and are egg shaped to triangular in shape.  The leaf itself is coarsely toothed and measures up to six inches long. One good method to identify the plant is to crush a leaf between your fingers and check for a garlic aroma.  Garlic Mustard can reach a height of three feet and is usually found along roadsides, open woodlands and waste places, flowering from spring to early summer.

Garlic Mustard leaf

If you can positively identify the plant it’s best to pull it up by the roots and dispose of it.  Another method which is less destructive to the soil is to cut the stem at ground level. Place all the pulled or cut plants in a garbage bag for disposal or if permitted in your area burn the collected plants.

 

 

Above all else please make sure you have a positive identification before you harvest any plants in the wild.

 

Nature Apps

This past week saw the addition of four more of our National Park Tracks, Trees & Wildflower Apps released for the iPhone. Yellowstone National Park, Glacier, Grand Teton and Grand Canyon National Park join Yosemite and Sequoia Kings Canyon in our growing list of Nature Apps.  The MyNature National Park App series are specific identification field guides for animal tracks, tree and wildflowers species found within each national park.  You’ll be able to identify over 30 mammal tracks, native trees and anywhere from 120 to 240 wildflowers depending on which national park your visiting.

Were proud to add the National Park series of nature apps to our growing list of available apps for your iPhone.  Our flagship app MyNature Animal Tracks which recently underwent a major update and the MyNature Tree Guide is currently in the shop where were updating that popular guide with a new, sleeker UI and adding a few dozen new species of trees to the list.

What’s in store for future Nature Apps with us?  Well, we would like to expand our National Park series with 1 or 2 new parks in the coming year. Within the next few weeks our newest app on Fishing Knots should be in the app store. That app will feature 13 common fishing knots and is a preview of what to expect in the MyNature Fish Guide which were hoping to have out by the Spring of 2012, just in time for Trout season!

We here at MyNature Inc. would like to thank you for your support over the past two years and we know that with your continued support and positive feedback we can achieve future growth in the field of Nature Apps and bring you exceptional content to help you enjoy your days in the field.

Happy Hiking  !!

Arbor Day Sale

One of our favorite days of the year , Arbor Day is tomorrow and to help celebrate the occasion we’ll be once again having a BIG app day sale.  Tomorrow and tomorrow only!! all 6 of the MyNature Apps will be on sale for .99 cents, that’s a huge savings of $6.00 off our Animal Tracks and Tree Guide to as high as $9.00 off our National Park series.

Coming off our huge giveaway last week for Earth Day where we had more than 8,000 downloads total over a 32 hour period we wanted to once again offer a special to help promote an “Education in Nature”

If you ever wanted to tell the difference between a Moose track and an Elks track, or  Moose Scat from a Beavers (yes, their somewhat similar)  then you definitely want to stop by the App Store and pick up a copy of the MyNature Track and Scat App on Friday. We don’t skimp on our apps, we have all the mammals you would be interested in identifying included in our guide, over 45 total and each animal featured has a complete library of images including  illustrated track and gait drawings, multiple digital images of tracks in the wild, gait patterns, scat, animal sign, range maps, sound files and an image of the animal itself.

What Would Arbor Day be without a Tree? Pretty boring actually, but no worries we have over 200 trees in our Tree Guide that you would commonly find across North America. Did you know that we were in fact the first to offer a tree app that actually helped you identify a tree.  All you have to do is answer 1 or any combination of 15 easy to understand illustrated questions to give you a list of possible trees that match your answer. The more questions you can answer the more specific the search results will be and in many instances lead you to the exact tree. You’ll  be able to quickly tell the difference between a Red Pine and a Whitebark Pine, what the difference is between a Spruce and a Fir Tree. Identify a tree by the color of its bark or type of fruit. We didn’t skimp on this guide either, for every tree included in the MyNature Tree Guide you can view an illustrated drawing of the leaf or needle, a digital image of the leaf or needle as well as the fall color for many of the trees. We also have digital pictures of each trees bark, fruit, profile and range maps as well.  Were even planning a future update in the next few months and we’ll be adding roughly 24 more trees as well as a new user interface.

If your heading out to Yosemite or Sequoia National Parks this summer then you should definitely be here for Fridays big Arbor Day sale and save $9.00 on our Tracks, Trees and Wildflower app for those parks.  These are park specific guides, only the animals, trees and wildflowers that are found there are included in our National Park series.  We have the same great features from our Tracks and Tree apps combined with  Wildflowers for a very informative app on the flora and fauna of Yosemite or Sequoia National Parks. The wildflower section alone contains over 240 commonly found wildflowers. The only thing more knowledgeable than this app would be a park ranger!! Keep an eye out in the next month for this growing series of National Park apps to include the Grand Canyon, Glacier, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

Happy Arbor Day!!

Free Apps for Earth Day!!

We’ll be celebrating Earth Day this year in a big way, all our Apps in the MyNature series will be free this Friday the 22nd of April. By offering our nature apps for free we hope that you take a step outside and learn a thing or two about Earth, the animals and plants that contribute to our every day existence. So what are you waiting for? Make sure you stop back in tomorrow and pick up all the apps you can carry out. We’ve got apps on Animal Tracks and Animal Scat, Tree Identification, a State Tree Quiz and our growing National Park Tracks, Trees & Wildflower series. If your visiting Yosemite or Sequoia National Parks or you know someone who is this is a great app with tons of information on all the tracks, scat, trees or wildflowers you’ll find in the parks.       Happy Earth Day !!

Celebrate National Parks Week

Were all about National Parks week here at MyNature.  April 16th is the start of  National Parks Week and to help you celebrate were having a 50% off sale on our two newest park apps.  Yosemite Tracks, Trees & Wildflowers and Sequoia/Kings Canyon Tracks, Trees & Wildflowers.  Both nature apps hit the iTunes store just in time for the holiday week.  Soon to join the MyNature  National Park series will be Tracks, Trees & Wildflowers of Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Glacier and Grand Teton National Park. We’ll surely have a nature app for you no matter which park your heading to!!

With any one of our National Park apps you be able to identify over 30 animal tracks, the sign they make as well as the scat the leave behind.  Not sure whether it’s a Grizzly Bear track or Black Bear track, Mule Deer scat or Moose Scat, no worries it’s all in the app.  Maybe one of those Gray Wolves out in Yellowstone just chased you up a tree…… yep!! you guessed it, you can even ID the tree while your sitting in it waiting for help to arrive.  And guess what? if you are rescued from that tree and your walking back to  camp make sure you stop and smell the flowers.  We’ve got over 240 wildflowers packed into our National Park app.  Answer any one or a combination of the MyNature 15 question search and you’ll be able to  tell the difference between Baby Blue Eyes and a Black Eyed Susan.  You’ll know more than the resident Naturalist in no time. The MyNature National Park App will identify whatever has 4 legs, grows tall or flowers pretty, this will soon become your favorite app on your outdoor expedition.

Look for anyone of our National Parks icons to  take along on your next trip.  Learn a little nature, tracks, trees and wildflowers, you’ll be glad you did. 

Happy Parks Week America !!

National Park Week

We’re very happy to say that  two of the new MyNature Apps were submitted to Apple  to undergo the review process today.  If all goes well  Yosemite Tracks, Trees & Wildflowers and Sequoia Tracks, Trees & Wildflowers   will hit the app store by next friday, just in time for the start of National Parks Week.

We’ve combnined our animal track and tree app to make them specific to each National Park. We also included a brand new wildflower section as well.

You’ll now be able to identify over 30 mammals that make one of these National Parks their home.  Identify native trees as well as over 220 commonly found wildflowers.  

In the coming weeks we’ll be adding  Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier and Grand Teton National Parks to the series.  Look for us in the App Store and we’ll make your next trip to one our beautiful parks and education in nature!!

We’re proud to tell you that for every National Park App sold throughout the year we here at MyNature personally donate $1.00 to the following park foundations.

  • National park Foundation
  • Grand Canyon Association
  • Glacier National Park Fund
  • Grand Teton National Park Foundation
  • Yellowstone National Park Foundation
  • Yosemite Conservancy

Happy Hiking !!