The thimbleberries in Chester are ripe now, and while they are not as abundant as they have been in years past, there is enough ripe fruit just off of the trail for a sizable snack without quite gorging myself. (Although it is also somewhat early in the season, and there might be more substantial yields in a week or two.) Wild raspberries are ripe now, too, but in Chester they are much less common. Chokecherries are also just starting to ripen, super super early this year.
Joe Pye is in full, glorious bloom by the ponds, and is a magnet for butterflies and hummingbirds. Fireweed and jewelweed also blooming, although not in as extravagant of numbers. My friend C. and I laid on the rocks just below Skyline for a while, and she pointed out to me the tiny (1/8 of an inch long or smaller) mud-colored, mud-covered snails in the still shallows of the creek slowly creeping though the algae and muck. Above us, dragonflies hawked after mosquitoes.