Autumn Wildflower Walk
Please join us for this free wildflower walk led by field ecologist and botanist Matt Peters who has over a dozen years of experience studying the flora, fauna, geology and soils of Weeks State Park.
Matt has led nature walks at the park for many years.
Meet at the parking lot at the start of the scenic auto road up Mount Prospect at 1 PM.
Bring a hand lens and flower guide if you like and dress for the weather. A paper list of common fall wildflowers will be provided at the assembly point.
The free program ends at 4 PM.
Matt Peters is a consultant field ecologist and botanist for the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. He compiles inventories of natural communities and rare plants in New Hampshire and Vermont.
September 12, 2021
It was a nice afternoon for our autumn flower walk. We couldn’t help but notice the “revived” hydrangea blooming in front of the lodge. Botanist and Ecologist, Matt Peters, talked about the unique soil that is present at Mt. Prospect. Unlike the majority of NH, there is a surprising amount of calcium in the rocks here. As Matt explained, the interplay of these calcareous rocks with the water that flows through them, “colluvial” action that massages minerals downward and the warming influence of the Connecticut River Valley collaborate to make Mt. Prospect a “botanical hotspot.”
Asters and Goldenrods
Fall is the season when asters and goldenrods take center stage. We have about a dozen or so species of both at Weeks State Park.
Botanist Matt Peters
Standing amid a sea of ostrich fern, Matt holds and talks about purple-stemmed aster.
Wading further into the vegetation, Matt points out moist soil loving Joe-Pye weed.
Bulblet fern and herb Robert
Our walk took us from the carriage house, behind the lodge and tower and then down the road to look at a special fern – the bulblet fern. Matt showed the reverse side of the frond where the small bulblets are attached. This fern has a neighboring plant here, herb Robert. A couple of its flowers were visible yesterday.
Taking a short walk down the carriage road trail, we spotted another fern that enjoys the rich soil of Mt. Prospect – maidenhair fern.
Just across the trail was some blue cohosh.