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Bowman’s Hill has changed my life. Truly.
If you read these pages at all regularly, you know I am an avid outdoorsman and hiker. But until I spent a couple of hours getting a guided tour of the Preserve in mid-April, I’d never focused on wildflowers. Now, whenever I go out for a walk (which is often) I can’t get them out of my consciousness.
I learned two things. First, that wildflowers are subtle and often tiny, and you may have to look closely to appreciate them. Second, the concept of Spring Ephemera. These are wildflowers that bloom for a few days in the spring, then suck down nutrients back into their root system, and let their stalk whither away. They’re done for the year! Wow. Who knew? Now, all I can see whenever I walk are flowers I didn’t see two days ago. Want examples? The pictures at the end of this article were taken on Tuesday, May 3 on Baldpate Mountain. I walked the same path on Sunday, May 1, and didn’t see any of these flowers.
Anyway, Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve is a short drive away on the PA side of Washington’s Crossing, north of the bridge. There’s a guided tour at 2 PM of every day, which is absolutely essential. Or, organize a group and you can probably organize a semi-private tour. Something like half the species of flora that are Native to the Delaware Valley are represented in the preserve.
Their big fundraiser is a plant sale on Mother’s Day weekend, and the following weekend.