Thursday, September 3, 2015

Summer On A Fort Yargo State Park Trail: Section B To The Dam, July 14th (Part 2)

July 14th. (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 Bigroot Morning Glory (Ipomoea pandurata) vine was still blooming in the shade at the edge of the woods near the beginning of my return trail.

The seed capsules on the Hairy Angelica (Angelica venenosa) continued to develop. I’ve never given much thought to it, but it’s interesting how few of the individual flowers were fertilized; certainly fewer than one-quarter of them.

The seed capsules were still developing on the New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) and, for the first time,…

the capsules on one head had ripened. They look remarkably different from the developing capsules. 

From here, I didn’t stop until I reached the third fallen pine log that I’d been checking for slime mold fruiting bodies. I wasn’t disappointed. I found…

Chocolate Tube (Stemonitis sp.) fruiting bodies that were ‘orderly,’ and a

cluster that looked as if they had been in a football scrum. Nearby were some…

tiny (unidentified) fruiting bodies that were barely 1 mm tall. 

I made my obligatory stop at the turn in the trail to check on the…

Green Adder’s-mouth (Malaxia unifolia) seed capsules.

These still looked healthy, and there were still approximately a dozen of them. 

I set off again and, before I reached the climb up the hill, I found an…

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) sunning itself on a tree a little way off the trail. 

I walked to the top of ‘The Hill,’ wondering if I would find slime mold fruiting bodies on the logs there.

I found the largest display of Chocolate Tube fruiting bodies I had seen this year.

The log was 3 to 4 feet long and was ‘dotted’ with little forests of fruiting bodies over its entire length.

The brown-gray areas around the clusters of fruiting bodies are deposits of spores that have fallen from the fruiting bodies.

A view of one of the larger forests of fruiting bodies, and a…

closer view of part of the forest.

A close view of a small section that really conveys the thickness of the spore deposit. 

After admiring this display of fruiting bodies for some time, I…

continued over the top of the hill. 

The main sighting on the trail back to the parking lot was the…

Brazilian Vervain (Verbena brasiliensis) that were still flowering along the open section of trail for some time. 

Although this walk lacked the variety of slime mold fruiting bodies that I’d seen on previous walks, it was outstanding for the small collection of 'stubbies' and the outstanding display of Chocolate Tube fruiting bodies. 

Related posts:  
- Spring Is In The Air: Fort Yargo State Park, Section B To The Dam, May 1st (Part 2)

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