Allium tricoccum (Small white leek)

Allium tricoccum, commonly known as a ramp or my favorite Small white leek. It is a native species of wild onion found across Canada and the eastern United States. A perennial plant growing from a conical bulb, like other onion/garlic species, produces broad leaves in early spring. Each cluster of bulbs produces a single flowering stalk. Unlike other members of its genus, flowering occurs after the leaves have all died back. Hence it gives rise to a unique display on the forest floor. I had initially suspected this was a parasitic plant from its lack of leaves and time of flower.

These were found in New York state near Ithaca in OD Von Engeln preserve a property managed by the nature conservancy.

Eastern (Red-Spotted) Newt

Notophthalmus viridescens,the eastern newt is a common newt found across eastern North America. The adults are not as striking as the juveniles (efts), which are brightly colored to warn you of their toxins.

Shown here is an individual eft we stumbled across in high point state park, New Jersey. The swamps of the High Point are unique and are biologically diverse. You can learn more about the bog here on this excellent blog that goes through its natural history and its unusual evolution.