Thursday, February 26, 2015

Winter Walk: Fort Yargo State Park – Section B To The Dam (Part 3)

February 10th. (Continued from…) I was able to take another walk at Fort Yargo State Park before the bad weather set in again.

I decided to walk from the picnic area at Section B to thedam and back; this walk is about three miles. This walk doesn’t have the variety of wildflowers as my previous walk from the group shelter to the Old Fort but it was another pretty day to enjoy the walk. 

The trail parallels the lake shoreline. New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) blooms near the trail just north of the dam. Pipsissewa (Chimaphila maculata) plants grow along the trail but I’ve never seen them bloom. 

This tree has a wonderfully large gall. 

The trail crosses a gully over a bridge. 

An impressive patch of moss hangs onto the embankment above the gully. 

Some furry creature, probably a squirrel, forgot to clean up after a meal of pine nuts.

I always enjoy this open, sunny section of trail. Bicolor Lespedeza (Lespedeza bicolor) bushes bloom near the trail just where it turns west. 

A small patch of Cranefly Orchid (Tipularia discolor) leaves. Although I’ve seen leaves of this orchid along this trail, I’ve never seen them bloom or any sign of seedpods in the fall. 

The trail goes back into woods dominated by pines. At one point along this trail, I’ve seen as many as 20 Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule)  Orchids in bloom on a slope. It looked as if someone had stood at the top of the slope and thrown plants down and they had grown where they landed. One year, I found a couple of Green Mouth Adder (Malaxis uniflora) Orchids in bloom right beside the trail.

The trail turns and climbs very steeply up 'The Hill' to complete the loo. It’s quite a climb. 

Looking back down the hill. 

The climb is deceptive. When you think you’ve reached the top, the trail drops. A very welcome bench has been strategically placed at the bottom of the dip before… 

The trail makes its final climb to the place where the trail split. This time, I can take the downhill trail to the lake shore again. Then I can retrace my steps on the trail back to the parking lot with a different perspective from the trail coming in…

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