Friday, March 16, 2012

Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: Late Winter Surprises (Part 3)

Continue from here...
March 10th, 2012. On our recent trip to the Piedmont NWR a couple of weeks ago, we saw Dimpled Troutlilies just beginning to bloom. We figured that they’d be full bloom now so we drove back down to photograph them.

We took a slightly different route from our last trip. We took the route from GA-83 south on Starr Road through the Oconee National Forest into the NWR. We drove through Tribble Fields to the bridge over Little Falling Creek and then north to Pond 2A. We returned the way we’d come and then took the first road on the right down to the Round Tree – Juliette Rd, drove east and then back into the NWR on the first road on the left. From there we drove north to the intersection with Sugar Hill Road, turned west and forded Stalking Head Creek. We then drove north and took the first road on the right to ford Stalking Head Creek again, east past a small pond and southeast to meet Sugar Hill Road again and then east to GA-11.

We forded Allison Creek to the ledge on the north side in anticipation of photographing Dimpled troutlillies (Erythronium umbilicatum) in full bloom but… None!!! We poked around. There were still a lot of leaves visible and only a few flower stalks indicating which plants had bloomed. It seems that the drought last year and the warm winter hasn’t been kind to these lilies.

As we looked around we spotted a couple of white flowers. Ah, yes… A couple of Atamasco lilies (Zephyranthes atamasca) – Zephyr lilies. I’d forgotten about these. Last year, these were flowering throughout this area. But this year, only two. Another plant that appears to have been affected by the drought and warm winter. But I got a few shots and have some from last year.

The plant

Flowers in various stages of opening

Closer views of the flowers, and...

the stigma and stamens

Side view of the flower

A developing seedpod

Other wildflowers were beginning to bloom

Common blue violet (Viola soraria)

Indian strawberry (Duchesnea indica)

Blue Fieldmadder (Sherardia arvensis). I almost missed these The plants were growing in longish grass and the flowers, only about ¼ inch in diameter, blend into their surroundings. . They are wonderful, exquisite little flowers. Interestingly, although they are called Blue Fieldmadder, I’ve only ever seen pink flowers.

As I started to walk into the woods, I almost stepped on these. Trilliums again. Last year, we had seen one plant on the verge of the road but none in the woods.

A closer view. W and I walked different sections of the woods and found trilliiums every 10 to 15 feet. You can be sure we’ll be back again in the hope that these bloom.

And then on to Stalking Head Creek.

To be continued… 

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Identification resources: 

Southeastern Flora:

- Atamasco Lily (Zephyranthes atamasca)

- Indian Strawberry (Duchesnea indica)

- Common Blue Violet (Viola soraria)

Name That Plant. Native and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia:

- Zephyranthes atamasca (Common Atamasco Lily, Rain-lily, Easter Lily, Naked Lily)

- Duchesnea indica (Indian Strawberry, Mock Strawberry)

- Viola soraria (Common Blue Violet, Common Wild Violet, Dooryard Violet, Confederate Violet)


University of North Carolina Herbarium:
- Zephyranthes atamasca

- Duchesnea indica

USDA Plants Database:

- Zephyranthes atamasca (Atamasco Lily)

- Duchesnea indica
(Indian Strawberry)

- Viola soraria
(Common Blue Violet)

Related Posts

- Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: Late Winter Surprises (Part 1)

- Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: Late Winter Surprises (Part 2)

- Piedmont NWR: The First Dimpled Troutlily (Erythronium umbilicatum) Of Spring

- Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: October Wildflowers (Part 1)

- Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: October Wildflowers (Part 2)

- Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: October Wildflowers (Part 3)

- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower – Wildflower Index


Kay G. said...

You really got some good photos.
Love that Zephyr lily, such a pure white.
Looking forward to more flower photos!

JSK said...

More flower pics in the offing, but it's going to be a few days :-)