Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Spring Walk At Fort Yargo State Park: Shelter A To The Old Fort, May 11th, 2015 (Part 1)

May 11th. I started to walk again at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder, Georgia. One of my favorite walks is from the Group Shelter A to the Old Fort and back.This is a rewarding walk for viewing wildflowers and I’ve been trying to walk it weekly and document the wildflowers I see.

The route, which I described here, here, and here.

The first part of the trail is through woods that are very shady and cool.

The first wildflower of the day was Venus’ Pride (Houstonia purpurea); there were only two plants. This is the first time that I had seen this flower.

The Strawberry Bush (Euonymus americanus) was still blooming.

A Blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica) was setting flower buds.

As I walked past the bench just beyond the Strawberry Bush, I startled a damselfly. It’s a juvenile that I haven’t been able to identify. It was remarkably ‘tame’ and posed for several photos before I left to check on the…

Redring Milkweed (Asclepias variegata) plants. The flower buds were still developing; they would probably be opened by the next time I walked this way.

A Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis) was sunning itself.

Approaching the first bridge, and…

crossing it.

Pipsissewa (Chimaphila maculata) flower buds were still developing nicely.

Berries were developing on Deerberry (Vaccinium staminium) bushes just beyond the first bridge.

The large seedpod was still developing on the Eastern Sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus) bush. The second flower stem that looked promising originally, was starting to wither; obviously, it wont develop any further.

Rattlesnakeweeds (Hieracium venosum) were still in full bloom.

Some seed capsuled were definitely developing on the witchhazel. It looked like about nine or ten capsules were developing, a small number compared with the number of flower stalks on the plant.

The gall on the young witch hazel bush had developed further; it was a Witch Hazel Cone Gall caused by the Witch-hazel Cone Gall Aphid (Hormaphis hamamelidis).

The Christmas Ferns (Polystichum acrostichoides) above the cliff were starting to fruit.

Berries were still developing on the Elliott’s Blueberry (Vaccinium elliottii) plant but none were showing signs of ripening yet.

I took some time to check one of the Hazel Alder (Alnus serrulata) bushes by the water. The seed cones, that had remained unchanged for several months, were starting to swell.

A flower on one of the Green Arrow Arum (Peltandra virginica) had opened. It was lying on the soft mud so I couldn’t reach it. It doesn’t look like it had started to release pollen.

The Common (Sisyrinchium angustifloium) and Needle-tipped Blue-eyed Grasses (Sisyrinchium mucronatum) had bloomed. I’d been waiting for another blue-eyed grass, the…

Annual Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium rosulatum) to bloom. These bloom in the grass at the point in the Fishing Area. 

I had remembered that I’d seen…

Carolina Wild Petunia (Ruellia caroliniensis) blooming close by. I checked and found a plant just starting to bloom at the edge of a patch of Poison Ivy (Toxodendron radicans). This must have been the first flower of the season. It was white; usually these flowers are a light mauve. I expected that later flowers would be mauve.

And then off into the Rock Garden… 
(To be continued…) 

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