Sunday, July 5, 2015

Spring Walk At Fort Yargo State Park: Shelter A To The Old Fort, June 15th, 2015 (Part 1)

June 15th. 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 early spring wildflowers have finshed blooming; it’s time to watch the developing fruit. A few late spring/summer wildflowers are blooming now.

It’s not often that a walk starts out like this. An early morning disk golfer had started a Raccon (Procyon lotor) that had taken refuge up a tree. Poor little thing. It was way higher than it needed to go to be safe from us – as if we were a threat to it.

It was another sunny morning. Even the mornings are warm now and the sun is hot. The benches placed at strategic spots are welcome, particularly on the return walk.

I was surprised to find a Pigeonwings (Clitoria mariana) bloom in the woods at the beginning of the trail. I’d never seen one here before.

The seed capsules were still developing on this Strawberry Bush (Euonymus americanus). The seed capsules seem to stay at the same size forever.

Several Starry Rosinweed (Silphium astericus) were blooming by the trail near the Strawberry Bush, and the…

Lanceleaf Loosestrife (Lysimachia lanceolata) plants were still blooming. There were about five plants and they’d been blooming for a couple of weeks already; I was surprised that they had bloomed for so long.

The berries on the Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum) plants just before the first bridge were still developing nicely, as were the…

seed capsules on the Pipsissewa (Chimaphila maculata) on the rise just after the bridge, and the…

berries on the Deerbery (Vaccinium staminium) bushes were still developing. 

I keep my fingers crossed when I walk up to the… 

Eastern Sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus) plant, but no need to worry on this day. The fruit was still developing. It hasn’t changed size for a long time. I guess it has reached its maximum size and it will just take time to mature now. 

The seed capsules on Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) vines were still doing nicely too. 

On my previous walk, I’d found the mushroom that I had identified as Black Chantarelles (Craterellus cornucopioides). This was an exciting find. I have seen the yellow Chanterells (Cantharellus cibarius) in several locations but had never seen the Black Chantarelles. In fact, I didn’t know they existed until I found these. I had gotten relatively good photographs of them from above but I wanted to photograph them again from the side. I was delighted that they were…

still in good shape. I actually got the towel that I carry and lay on the ground to photograph them this time.

From the top, and…

from the side. The top image shows the depth of the characteristic inverted, funnel-shaped cap. The lower image shows how shallow or almost non-existent the folds or false gills are.

It wasn’t far to the witchhazel bush (Hamamelis sp.) to find that the seed capsules were still doing well. 

There were still a couple of surprises before I left the cliff area for the Fishing Area, the ‘Rock Garden,’ and the Old Fort.
(To be continued…)

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