July 24th. 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 (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.
This walk was marked by the first blooming, this year, of the Trumpetweed/Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium fistulosum) plants that grow along the lake shore near the beginning of the trail. This plant was, by far, the tallest; it must have been more than 12 feet tall. Most of the plants grow to about four to five feet tall, and grow along the lake front for about 200 yards or more.
Some small Spurred Butterflypea (Centrosema virginianum) plants grow near the Trumpetweed; flowers are hidden mostly in the surrounding plants and you have to look for them.
The Common Evening Primrose (Oenoethera biennis) plants had started to bloom. Unfortunately, these flowers are usually closed by the time I begin my walk.
A few Wild Lettuce (Lactuca canadensis) plants had been blooming and were already,,,
Brazilian Vervain (Verbena brasiliensis), that had been blooming since late Spring, was still blooming.
Over in the main woods, the Witch’s Butter (Tremella mesenterica) was growing after recent rains.
There weren’t any slime mold fruiting bodies at either the two logs I visited on the way to the dam, so my first stop in the woods was at the…
Just past the Tulip Poplar was a patch of…
Hairy Elephantfoot (Elephantopus tomentosus) that were starting to bloom. This is, by far, the densest patch of blooming elephantfoot I’ve ever seen.
From here I made my way down to the dam.
(To be continued)
- Spring Is In The Air: Fort Yargo State Park, Section B To The Dam, May 1st (Part 2)