Saturday, April 6, 2013

Early Spring At Dockery Lake

March 30th, 2013. Our first ‘major’ outing of the year was to Dockery Lake in the Chestatee Wildlife Management Area in the Chattahoochee National Forest. We had found interesting wildflowers along the road down last Fall and will revisit it during the year. We didn’t find many wildflowers blooming but it was interesting to spot evidence of wildflowers from last year and promises of wildflowers for this year.

The only wildflower we saw was the Common Periwinkle (Vinca minor). This is an non-native, invasive wildflower that we’ve seen in many areas in north Georgia and which spreads over large areas. It may start to bloom in January if the Winter is mild. Usually they have blue-purple flowers. This was a small patch near the day parking lot and I almost missed it because the flowers were…

white and blended into their background of brown leaves.

A close-up view.

We drove to where we had found wildflowers last year. We could see…

Leaves of the Cranefly Orchid (Tipularia discolor) on the embankment, with

Pipsissewa (Chimaphila maculata) in several places. There were several plants, some of which had seed pods.

We spotted seed pods of Downy Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens) and, upon close inspection of the area…

Quite a number of plants whose leaves were emerging.

The strangest thing we found was a cluster of grayish lime-green structures on the embankment. Upon close examination, they look like the skeletal mycelial remnants of stinkhorn fungi

The finest example showing the stalk and head, and

another specimen showing a head on a shorter stalk.

A view from the side that shows the skeletal structure of the stalk.  I would have liked to see these in their prime.

From this cove, we drove back up the road to where we had found the Pinesap (Monotropa hypopithys) last year.

We found a small cluster of flower stalks still present. These blend well into their background; it’s unlikely we would have seen these if we hadn’t known they were there.

A closer view. Photos of the blooms as we saw them last Fall. 
We spoke to rangers who passed by and they told us that the trilliums were blooming at Boggs Creek so we headed over there to take a look… 

Click on an image to view a larger image 

Identification Resources:
Southeastern Flora 
Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia:

United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database:  
- Goodyera pubescens (Downy Rattlesnake Plantain)
- Pinesap (Monotropa hypopithys)


Kay G. said...

You should go to Arabia Mountain and see all that is in bloom there just now. It's lovely!

JSK said...

I know I should. I'd planned to go a few weeks ago but 'life' got in the way.