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The Forest in May

Hooded warblers are probably one of the most beautiful, and rarest, songbirds to nest at Governor Dick. They are especially susceptible to increased predation and cowbird parasitism caused by forest fragmentation and so are found primarily in mature forests with a well-developed understory. They often nest in mountain laurel thickets 2 to 3 feet above the ground, Males are loud, persistent singers, easily identified by a black hood surrounding a yellow face. They are as beneficial as they are beautiful, eating a diet that consists solely of insects.

Wild geraniums are a common trailside wildflower. Their flowers are pink to purple with five petals growing on stalks over large, five-lobed leaves. They grow 1 to 2 feet high. Showy orchis is not as common. Its bi-colored flower has a purple hood over a white lip and spur. It grows 4 to 12 inches tall from two wide basal leaves. Both the wild geranium and showy orchis can be found along Governor Dick's trails every May, but risk being trampled by bikes, horses and careless feet.

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© Friends Of Governor Dick, 2002