August 12th. (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 slime molds appeared to be finished for the season. For the moment, some wildflowers we still blooming but there was a lull between seasons.
The seed capsules on the Hairy Angelica (Angelica venenosa) at the beginning of the return trail didn’t appear to have changed over the previous two weeks; they still looked very healthy.
The fruits on the Green Arrow Arum (Peltandra virginica) hadn’t changed in size; these take a long time to mature.
The Bicolor Lespedeza (Lespedeza bicolor) shrubs along the trail were still blooming. These have a long blooming season along this trail.
Snake root (Sanicula sp.) plants had gone to seed. I missed the flowers, so couldn’t identify the species. In the lowers photo, the tiny hooks on the seed capsules are visible – which explains why, as they ripen, my socks were full of them when I came off the trail.
I found some Coral Slime (Ceratiomyxa fructiculosa) on a rotton log along the north section of the trail; there isn’t much at this time of year.
I don’t often see snails but one was making it’s way along the same moist log.
The leaf on the Green Adder’s-mouth Orchid plant, that had been drying up over the past two weeks, had perked up with recent rains. This plant is resilient; the seed capsules will probably mature.
When I reached the top of ‘The Hill,’ I found that a tall pine tree had fallen. Fortunately, it had been cut up to clear the trail. This would have been a hard tree to climb over and, in this location, even more difficult to walk around.
Hairy Elephantfoot (Elephantopus tomentosus) plants were still blooming near the edge of the main woods.
Out on the open section of trail, a Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) was looking for food. It was hard to get a photo; it would open and close its wings immediately after landing and then would close them, probably to avoid the heat that was oppressive.
Brazilian Vervain (Verbena brasiliensis) had been blooming on the lower section of open trail for most of the summer.
The final treat of this walk was when I reached the Trumpetweed/Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium fistulosum). I could see a couple of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails (Papilio glaucus) feeding high in the tall plant. The real treat was in the…
smaller plants, where I found six Eastern Tiger Swallowtails feeding, including a…
normal and a black female, as well as at least one…
male. A real treat!
- Summer On A Fort Yargo State Park Trail: Section B To The Dam, July 29th (Part 1)
- Spring Is In The Air: Fort Yargo State Park, Section B To The Dam, May 1st (Part 2)