Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring Walk At Fort Yargo State Park: Shelter A To The Old Fort, 16th April, 2015 (Part 1)

April 16th. 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. Things, in the way of Spring wildflowers, was starting to warm up on my most recent walk, documented here, here and here.
It had been raining and it was still cloudy so I had to use artificial light for photographs.

The Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum) were in full bloom.  

I added photos of this lichen that was fruiting to my collection of photos to try and identify. 

Trees at the first bridge were leafing out nicely; the American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) was no longer the focal point of attention by the bridge.

I found a patch of Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum) to the left of the trail just before the first bridge. Several were starting to bloom. 

The leaves on the Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) had developed fully. 

The rain had enhanced the rich colors of these Turkey-tail-like bracket fungi on a fallen log. 

This same log was hosting some Old Man’s Beard (Usnea strigosa) lichens. 

Flower buds were starting to develop on the Pipsissewa/Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata). These flowers are intriguing and I always look forward to seeing them. 

The Eastern Sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus) bushes were still flowering.

This mushroom was growing on a tree trunk. Judging by the condition of the gills, it had been there for a while but I hadn’t noticed it. 

Eastern Sweetshrub flowers on a bush up near the cliff was much more intensely colored than those that I had passed earlier. 

I found my first Wild Yam (Discorea villosa) of the year. I’m always intrigued by the symmetry of the leaves. I’ve seen the flowers when they first bloom but have never followed the development of their seedpods although I found some dried seed pods nearby. Maybe, this will be the year.

I was surprised that the Carolina Silverbell (Halesia carolina) trees were still blooming.

The Mountain Azaleas (Rhododendron canescens) at the top of the cliff were in full bloom. I’m going to try to remember to follow the development of their seedpods this year. 

A couple of the flowers on the Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) had started to opened. 

The flower buds of the Rattlesnakeweed (Hieracium venosum) were still developing.

Just south of the Fishing Area, I found another tree limb that had fallen in the recent rains. I had seen the first one at several locations but the second one was new for me. 

And then I arrived at the Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule) orchids. 

I always get carried away when I’m photographing these. It’s one of the few times that I get my towel out and lie on the ground to photograph flowers.

After satisfying my need to photograph these flowers, which are protected in Georgia, I went on into the Fishing Area to continue my walk.
(To be continued…) 

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