September 11th. 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. For the moment, some wildflowers we still blooming but there was a lull between seasons. There were still some wildflowers blooming but the mushroom season had started in earnest.
The Perennial Wildbean (Strophostyles umbellata) vines still had blooms. The legumes – the seed ‘pod’ – were quite obvious compared with the previous week.
On the other side of the trail, Creeping Lespedeza (Lespedeza repens) plants were in full bloom.
Common Blue Curls (Trichostema dichotomum) were blooming nearby. The plants here, in the full sun, were much shorter – about 18 inches tall – compared with the plants – 3 to 4 feet tall - growing in the shade on the other trail.
The Eyebane (Chamaesyce nutans) plants were fruiting prolifically. I love the superior ovaries on these plants although those on the Flowering Spurge (Euphorbia corollata) are more impressive than these.
As I headed out of the woods at the beginning of the trail, I found an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) warming itself in the morning sun.
Out on the open trail, Common Morning Glory (Ipomoea purpurea) vines were blooming. The flowers would be closed by the time I returned along this section of trail.
Longbristle Smartweed (Polygonum cespitosum var. longisetum) was beginning to bloom along the open section of trail before the main woods.
Small Hairy Small-leaved Tick-trefoil (Desmodium ciliare) plants were beginning to bloom in the main woods. Their growth is spindly in the woods compared with the large bushes growing in the full sun on the other trail.
These were already developing loments that would become ‘sticky,’ covered with fine hairs that would stick to clothing and facilitate their spread. Many times, I have had to spend time picking them from my clothing when I get home from a walk along this trail.
Often, I forget to check the seed capsules on the Pipsissewa (Chimaphila maculata) plant by the trail along the ‘lake’ front. The plants blend so well into the background.
The Bicolor Lespedeza (Lespedeza bicolor) plants along this section of trail had finished blooming and were developing legumes, each of which contains only one seed. This was the first time I had seen these.
The final spotting before heading up the hill was a cluster of very small, yellow jelly fungi. The largest was approximately 0.25 inches in diameter. They were too small to be Witch’s Butter (Tremella mesenterica). Friends on the Facebook Mushroom Identification Forum suggested that this might be a Bisporella sp. but would require microscopy to get a confirmed identification. Ah, well…
(To be continued…)
- Native and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Strophostyles umbellata
- Native and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Lespedeza repens
- Native and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Trichostema dichotomum
- Native and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Chamaesyce nutans
- Butterflies and Moths of North America: Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
- Native and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Ipomoea purpurea
- Native and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Polygonum cespitosum var. longisetum
Native and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Desmodium ciliare
Native and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Chimaphila maculata
Native and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Lespedeza bicolor
- 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)