June 30th. (Continued from…) 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 Pawpaw (Asimina parviflora) had developed fruit that, unfortunately, it had lost; the Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule) Orchids had bloomed, and some Green Adder’s-mouth (Malaxis unifolia) Orchids had bloomed and two were setting seeds. The occurrence of slime mold fruiting bodies added a new focus of interest for this walk.
The main flower head on the Hairy Angelica (Angelica venenosa) had finished blooming. The smaller flower head was in full bloom. It would be interesting to see if these set seed.
I stopped to check the mystery galls on the Blackjack Oak (Quercus marilandica) sapling. They were drying and hardening.
One of the leaves of the oak had been pierced by a pine needle. It’s amazing how these pine needles develop the force with to pierce a strong oak leaf when they fall.
I made my way off the trail and down into one of the gullies by the lake were a Green Arrow Arum (Peltandra virginica) had bloomed.
One had been damaged and the developing seeds were visible through the wound.
Indian Woodoats (Chasmanthium latifolium) were developing fruit along this section of the trail.
Further along the trail I found some Coral Slime (Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa vaar. fruticulosa) that had fruited on a fallen log.
For once, the Perfoliate Bellwort (Uvularia perfoliata) plant was bathed in sunlight.
The seed capsule was still developing
The Green Adder’s Mouth Orchids (Malaxis unifolia) was developing seed capsules.
Pipsissewa (Chimaphila maculata) plants were also developing seed capsules.
The trail just before the hill climb; it looks deceptively cool.
I found a couple of lichens on a recently fallen branch.
The fruiting bodies on this lichen are in pristine condition;…
these fruiting bodies have ‘aged;’ the margins on these are worn compared with those on young fruiting bodies.
This fungus is a Brown-toothed Crust fungus (Hydnochaete olivacea). It’s dry and worn with time. It's fairly common but often overlooked.
Near the end of the trail, the Hoary Mountainmint (Pycnanthemum incanum) was still blooming.
Spurred Butterflypea (Centrosema virginianum) had just started to bloom on this trail; this was the first flower for this season.
The final sighting on this walk was some Aligatorweed (Alternanthera philoxeroides). A small patch of weed was growing just west of the bridge to the parking lot.
- Spring Is In The Air: Fort Yargo State Park, Section B To The Dam, May 1st (Part 2)