Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Summer At Fort Yargo State Park: Shelter A To The Old Fort, August 3rd, 2015 (Part 1)

August 3rd. 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 finished blooming; it’s time to watch the developing fruit. Summer wildflowers were blooming now.

The fruit on the Strawberry Bush (Euonymus americanus) still showed no sign of pink to indicate that they were ripening. At some point, one wonders if they will ever ripen.

The Virginia Meadowbeauty (Rhexia virginica) plants still had a few flowers.

There were still a few Starry Rosinweed (Silphium astericus) flowers along the trail nearby, but they were just about done for the season.

Then there was a new flower blooming in the woods by the trail. I think it may be the Small Wood Sunflower (Helianthus microcephalis). (I’ll post more images of it separately).

As I was walking through the open area between the woods, I glanced back and saw this White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) doe grazing at the edge of the woods. She was watchful, but not particularly bothered by my presence. She was still in the same area when I returned a couple of hours later. I met some hikers who had seen a couple of fawns near another trail nearby; they may have belonged to this doe – which would explain why she stayed in the area so long.

The Spurred Butterflypea (Centrosema virginianum) plants were still blooming. This plant had climbed higher than most, about five feet high.

I found this Cranefly Orchid (Tipularia discolor) blooming in the shade near the…

Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum) plants, whose berries were starting to darken, indicating that they were ripening.

One of the few Hairy Elephantfoot (Elephantopus tomentosus) plants along this trail was still blooming. 

Just over the first bridge, this female Eastern Fence (Sceloporus undulatus) lizard was sunning herself on a log by the trail. She didn’t have time to scamper off before I saw her. She flattened herself against the log and certainly gave the impression that she was much larger than she really was.

Just past this log, sap was seeping from the base of a tall tree. Ants and several European Hornets (Vespa crabro) were feeding on the sap.

The fruit on the first Eastern Sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus) was complete brown now.

A few Smooth Yellow False Foxglove (Aureolaria flava) were still blooming on the trail up to the cliff.

Apart from the damage to one of the seed capsules that I had seen the previous week, the seed capsules of the Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) vines were still green.

The seed capsules on the witchhazel bush (Hamamelis sp.) still showed no sign of ripening, and the…

the flower buds developing for this season still looked healthy but unchanged from the previous week.

The fruit on the second Eastern Sweetshrub was showing some yellowing; it was starting to ripen finally. 

From here, I walked along the cliff and down to the Fishing Area. 
(To be continued…)

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