Saturday, May 9, 2015

Spring Is In The Air: Fort Yargo State Park, Section B To The Dam, April 26th (Part 1)

April 26th. 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. On a previous walk on April 12th, the leaves of the Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule) Orchids were starting to bloom and was surprised to find several Smallflower Pawpaw (Asimina parviflora).

It was a sunny Sunday morning. The pedestrian bridge is a favorite fishing spot and quite a lot of people had come to the park to try their luck.

Setting out on the trail.

The woods were quite shaded but the sun was still finding its way through the leaves.

Some of the Red Maple (Acer rubrum) leaves had been attacked by the Maple Eyespot Gall midge, Acericecis ocellaris. These are the typical colors of these galls.

This gall may hadn’t developed the red center surrounded by the white zone.

An older spot.

The Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) grove was being overgrown rapidly by scuppernong vines.

The vines by the trail were the only ones it was easy to view now.

I was a little surprised to see some fresh Witch’s Butter (Tremella mesenterica) on one of the branches that had fallen during the wind storms earlier this year.

I pressed on along the trail, and…

up ‘The Hill.’ I was anxious to see the…

Smallflower Pawpaw (Asimina parviflora) plant that I had found at the top of the hill. The plant had leafed out properly now.

I was surprised to find another new flower, literally a ‘late bloomer.’

The fruit that I’d seen on my previous walk were still there. The flower sepals were still attached to these, but

had fallen off this flower, leaving just the fruit.

I’m still fascinated by these pine seedlings growing in a cavity in a fallen log.
I headed around to the Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) tree by the trail.

Most of the small buds that I’d seen previously – there were six or seven – had fallen off. Only one was left.

Then I noticed a larger bud a little higher than the other bud, but still reachable.

As I headed up the trail, I noticed a Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum) in bloom. I didn’t expect to find one here.

Then, on up the trail through the pine woods, and…

down the open trail to the dam. 
(To be continued…) 

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