Thursday, May 21, 2015

Spring Is In The Air: Fort Yargo State Park, Section B To The Dam, May 1st (Part 1)

May 1st. When I visited Fort Yargo State Park in mid-February, there were few signs of Spring. The only wildflower plants that were obvious were the leaves of Cranefly Orchids (Tipularia discolor) that I found in many places.

The route… I’ve described it here, here, here, and here This walk doesn’t have the variety of wildflowers as my other walk from the Group A Shelter to the Old Fort but it does have some gems. One of the Smallflower (Asimina parviflora) had developed fruit, the Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule) Orchids had been blooming for a week or so and some Green Adder’s-mouth Orchids (Malaxis uniflora) were beginning to bloom.

Setting out on the trail on another sunny morning; so nice after the many gray days we’d had.

There were many Virginia Pepperweed (Lepidium virginicum) plants in the grass. The flowers are so tiny that they go unnoticed until the…

seedpods are developing on the stems.

I was checking some lichens on a branch that also had a lot of Amber Jelly Roll (Exidia recisa). I’d never thought much about what happens to a jelly fungus when it dries up. This is what one looks like when it's dry. 

A Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) was warming itself up in the sun.

The woods were becoming more shady. 

Having found the dried-up Amber Jelly fungus, I looked for the…

Witch’s Butter (Tremella mesenterica) that had also dried up. It was still there.

One of the hawthorns (Crataegus sp.) in the woods still had a couple of blooms.

Then to climb up ‘The Hill’ to check on the…

Smallflower Pawpaw fruit. Several fruits were still attached.

Two little pine seedlings were still growing in the cavity on a fallen log.

I took the trail to the…

Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera). Many of the flower buds had fallen off; only one remained close to the trail.

There were a lot of Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon) butterflies around this spring but they rarely stayed still.

The woods, viewed from the end of the dam, were still a mixture of different greens.

Then off down the trail to the Pink Lady’s Slipper Orchid patch. 

(To be continued…)

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