Monday, June 1, 2015

Spring Is In The Air: Fort Yargo State Park, Section B To The Dam, May 15th (Part 2)

May 15th. (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 (Asimina parviflora) had developed fruit and some Green Adder’s-mouth (Malaxis unifolia) Orchids were beginning to bloom.

Starting down the trail from the dam. I wasn’t expecting much of interest until I reached the oak galls but…

the New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) was in bud. There are a several plants at the edge of the trail. Several years ago, the only plants were between the trail and the lake. Now, they didn’t appear to be there but these new plants allow easy access to see these blooms. Give them a few days and they would be blooming.

The Flowering Spurge (Euphorbia corollata) plants are starting to bloom. I’ve watched the development of the seed capsules previously but didn’t see this through to matured capsules. Maybe this time?

The older gall (top) was beginning to dry up. The younger gall (bottom) had some ‘bumps.’ I wonder if something was about to emerge from this gall.

Note: I submitted photographs of these galls and the host plant to Bug Guide. So far, it hasn’t been identified and is in: Home » Guide » Arthropods (Arthropoda) » Unidentified Tracks, Sign, and Other Mysteries » Unidentified Galls at

It was still cloudy when I left the gall tree. But the…

sun was starting to break through.

I spotted another little jumping spider that I haven’t identified yet. It was on a log next to one of my…

favorite lichens.

I came upon the Ebony Spleenwort (Asplenium platyneuron) ferns. Since the Christmas and Rattlesnake ferns were fruiting, I took a look at the…

underside of their fronds and found white patches that I presumed was where the spore packets would develop.

Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum) berries were still developing.

And then onto the orchid patch where the four Green Adder’s-mouth (Malaxis unifolia) Orchids were blooming. The Green Adder’s-mouth Orchids were just starting to bloom.

One orchid has developed a very long flower stalk. The others had…

short flower stalks. 

I tore myself away from the orchids and found the…

Pipsissewa (Chimaphila maculata) buds were in good shape but not swelling like some of the others I had seen.

I made my way along the trail to ‘The Hill’ and on down the trail back to the open area.

Some Wild Garlic (Allium vineale) buds were about ready to open, and the…

Venus’ Looking-glass (Triodanus perfoliata) were still blooming.

Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica) bushes were blooming along the edge of the lake. I've only seen one plant with the flowers fully opened.

The last surprise on this walk was the pair of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) that were taking their goslings – all eigth of them – along the lake shore. Knowing where both of the closest nesting sites were, I suspect the little guys had tired legs from paddling before they got ‘home’  from this paddle.

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