August 27th. (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. For the moment, some wildflowers we still blooming but there was a lull between seasons. I had thought that the slime mold fruiting was done for the year, but I was in for a surprise. There were new fungi to be found too.
My first stop on the return trail was the…
Hairy Angelica (Angelica venenosa). Its seed capsules were still developing nicely. This does show how few flowers were pollinated to go on to develop seed.
The mystery oak gall was aging. At this time, I wondered if I would ever learn the identity of the insect that caused it. (In fact, I did; more of that next)
I walked down to the little inlet to check on the fruit of the Green Arrow Arum (Peltandra virginica). It looked like these were still doing well.
I checked on the branch that held the Little Nest Polypores (Poronidulus conchifer). The large brackets had aged and had rough edges compared with when I found them the previous week. The pores on the underside had also eroded.
The ganodermas, Ganderma curtisii, had darkened in color a little from the previous week and had lost their glossy surface.
I was surprised to find a Pigeonwings (Clitoria mariana) flowering by the trail in these open woods. The plants are very small along this trail – unlike along the trail to the Old Fort where they produce bigger vines – and would go unnoticed if it weren’t for the occasional flower.
It’s interesting that three orchids – Pink Lady’s Slipper, Green Adder’s-mouth, and The Rattlesnake Plantain – grow and bloom in this one small area that covers only about 300 square feet.
My final stop on the trail in the main woods was to photograph a couple of Coker’s Amanita (Amanita cokeri) growing a little way off the trail. I haven’t seen many Coker’s amanitas along this trail. In contrast they are numerous in the woods near the Old Fort.
Near the end of the trail, under the power lines, I found about two dozen Ailanthus Webworm Moths (Atteva aurea) ‘working’ Leatherleaf Clematis (Clematis terniflora) flowers for food.
The Tooth-leaved Croton (Croton glandulosus var. septentrionalis) were still blooming in this area. Their flowers are more conspicuous than those of their more common cousin, the Woolly Croton (Croton capitatus), although their seed capsules are very inconspicuous.
- 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)