Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Summer At Fort Yargo State Park: Shelter A To The Old Fort, August 3rd, 2015 (Part 2)


August 3rd. (Continued from…). 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 walking it every week and documenting the wildflowers that 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. A few late spring/summer wildflowers are blooming now.


At the Fishing Area, an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) was feeding on the last flower – the defiant bud from the previous week - on the Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis).

The developing fruits were showing a slight tinge of red.  

In the ‘Rock Garden,’ I stumbled on…


a cluster of Cranefly Orchid (Tipularia discolor) plants in bloom.


The seed capsules on the Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) were still green; no sign of ripening yet.


The Resurrection Fern (Pleopeltis polypodioides) was still dried.


The fruit on the Eastern Sweetshrub was definitely starting to turn yellow.


The Indian Woodoats (Chasmanthium latifolium) were decorating the trail. 

At the inlet below the Old Fort, the…


seed capsules on the Swamp Rosemallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) were opened to release their seeds.


I made my way back along the trail with one final stop to look at one final


Cranefly Orchid in bloom at the base of an oak tree.

Related posts:  

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…)

Related posts:

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans)


August 1st. One of our resident Green Frogs (Lithobates clamitans). It spends most of its time floating at the surface of the water and diving under when disturbed. Late in the afternoon, however, it often climbs out and sits on the rim of the container.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Summer On A Fort Yargo State Park Trail: Section B To The Dam, July 29th (Part 2)


July 29th. (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. It seemed that the slime molds may have finished fruiting for the season.


At the end of the dam, the Lanceleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata), and the…


Bigroot Morning Glory (Ipomoea pandurata) vines, in the shade at the edge of the woods near the beginning of my return trail, were still  blooming.


The seed capsules on the Hairy Angelica (Angelica venenosa) were still developing. They looked unchanged from the previous week.


Most of the seed capsules on the New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) were now ripe, compared with a couple of weeks previously when the capsules on only one seed head had ripened.

I had only been checking the fruit on the Green Arrow Arum (Peltandra virginicus) every couple of weeks; these were quite swollen and still looked healthy.


I spotted another Cranesfly Orchid flower spike by the trail. They’re not necessarily easy to spot; usually, they are ‘fuzzy’ interruptions in the landscape that might, or might not be noticed.


Some of the Bicolor Lespedezas (Lespedeza bicolor) plants were sporting the intense pink blooms that I liked so much. It’s interesting how the colors of flowers on the same bush varied throughout the season.


In spite of the heat at this time of year, this trail through the woods was remarkably cool and enjoyable in comparison with the open sections of the trail.

Hairy Elephantfoot (Elephantopus tomentosus) plants are not common in this open part of the woods but there were one of two plants that were blooming happily.


The seed capsules were still developing on the Green Adder’s-mouth Orchid plant. The plants only leaf, however, was wilting in the dry weather. I wondered weather it would survive for the seed capsules to ripen. Time would tell.


Then back to the parking lot where this Trumpetweed/Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium fistulosum) plant at the lakes shore told me I was near the end of the trail. 

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