Category Archives: Journal

Creeping Water Primrose – Ludwigia peploides – at Amnicola Marsh

When I stopped at Amnicola Marsh a few days ago to check on the status of the American Lotus (they were blooming), I noticed a bright yellow blossom on a prostrate red stem in the cracked mud bottom (we are in a drought, and the water level is very low at the Marsh.) Cindy asked what it was, and I told her I thought it was a primrose-willow (Ludwigia species.)

reeping Water Primrose - Ludwigia peploides

I chose to use the Creeping Water Primrose common name for Ludwigia peploides rather than another one commonly used – Floating Primrose Willow – because the drought we’re in had this plant many yards away from being floating.

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Short Walk in the North Chickamauga Creek Pocket Wilderness #Wildflowers

My wife and I took a short walk in the North Chickamauga Creek Pocket Wilderness (now managed by Tennessee’s Cumberland State Park; I think it is now named the North Chickamauga State Natural Area) near Soddy-Daisy today. This is a lovely walk along the North Chickamauga Creek; nothing real steep for the first half mile or so. Lots of wildflowers and a beautiful creek to boot. Here are photos of a few of the wildflowers that are blooming.

Forkleaf Toothwort - Cardamine dissecta

Forkleaf Toothwort – Cardamine dissecta was probably the predominant plant along the lower part of the trail.

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Blue Ridge Parkway Drive – September 2014

My wife and I were heading to a couple of events in Morganton (a memorial service) and Linville (a wedding), NC on Labor Day weekend.  We have family in Roanoke, VA, and we had some spare time after the wedding, so we decided to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, which runs by Linville, and on our return trip to stop by Roanoke for a visit afterwards.

Spotted jewelweed - Impatiens capensis

One of the wildflowers that stayed with us from end to end was Spotted JewelweedImpatiens capensis – along with its sister, Pale Touch-me-notImpatiens pallida

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#Wildflowers of The Walking Track at Chattanooga Valley Church of the Nazarene

Several years ago the Chattanooga Valley Church of the Nazarene generously opened a walking track next to a creek on their property in Flintstone, Georgia and made it available to the public. My wife and I take advantage of that track from time to time, and have been surprised and pleased by how many wildflowers grow in the area.  Yesterday was a beautiful day, so we walked the track, and I went back later to photograph the wildflowers.  Here are a dozen native species blooming now along the track.

Green-headed Coneflower, Cutleaf Coneflower

Among the first wildflowers you notice along the creek is Green-headed Coneflower.

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A Visit to the Chattanooga #Riverwalk – Mink and More

The “Polar Vortex” came through the Chattanooga area in mid-July, giving us a few days respite from the muggy heat that usually oppresses us in July and August. It would have been horrible to waste that time indoors, so my wife and I spent a little bit of time on Chattanooga’s Tennessee River Walk at one of our favorite spots, the pond at Curtain Pole Road. We started out chasing dragonflies, but soon that turned into much more.

Dragonfly at Curtain Pole Pond

Dragonfly at Curtain Pole Pond – This is a composite of two photos of a single dragonfly – one on the approach; the other upon landing

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It’s Not Spring #Wildflowers in the #Smokies, but…

My wife, two granddaughters, and I spent the week prior to July 4 in and around the western part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We spent four nights dry camping in our motorhome in the Park’s Cosby Campground – a beautiful place – and then moved for the final three nights to a nice RV park about halfway between Cosby Campground and Gatlinburg.

Sydney crosses Cosby Creek

Sydney crosses Cosby Creek on our Low Gap Trail hike.

While it isn’t springtime in the Smokies, there were still a lot of wildflowers to be seen. I thought I’d share photos of a few of them, four three of which are “lifers” for me (in my haste I originally identified the white Monarda as Monarda bradburiana; I now believe it to be Monarda clinopodia.)

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#Wildflowers on the #Waterfalls Trail at Cloudland Canyon State Park 04/16/2014

Wednesday, 04/16/2014, woke up bright and beautiful, if a bit chilly with overnight lows in the lower 30’s. I had a reminder on my calendar to check for Trillium sulcatum, a species I had not seen previously, at Cloudland Canyon State Park. Calendar and weather were in sync, so around 10 AM I headed out for my first visit to this wonderful, nearby state park in 2014. I spotted some Vernal Iris (Iris verna) along the park’s entrance road, a portent of what I hoped would be a beautiful walk. I was not disappointed.

Vernal Iris - Iris verna

Vernal Iris – Iris verna


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Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve

Wow!  If you like Trout Lilies (what’s not to like about Trout Lilies?) then… Wow!  Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve is home to the densest population of Trout Lilies in the world.  Arrive there at peak bloom – usually early February, but with the cold late winter we’ve had in the southeast, mid-February this year – and you too will be amazed at the carpet of yellow blossoms in a 40 acre patch of forest along the slopes down to Wolf Creek in Grady County, Georgia.

Dimpled Trout Lily - Erythronium umbilicatum

Massive display of Dimpled Trout Lily – Erythronium umbilicatum – at Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve

But there’s more…

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#Waterfalls and #Wildflowers – The Pocket – No Early Spring This Year 02/16/2014

We’ve had a pretty harsh winter, with two significant snow storms and a stretch of extremely cold weather (for North Georgia, anyway), so I was not expecting much action at The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain in mid-February, but it was a beautiful day and I wanted an excuse to get out, so my wife and I headed down to The Pocket after lunch.  It was pretty much as expected – signs of coming spring, but no floral action, even though this is almost 2 weeks later than the first flowers I found last year.  The falls was pretty, though, and worth the walk:

The Falls in the Pocket at Pigeon Mountain

The Falls in the Pocket at Pigeon Mountain

Following are a few photos of the “signs of spring:”

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#Birds in the #Snow in our Yard

We had an unexpected snow event – we were expecting some flurries, but the northern edge of the line of precipitation was further north than expected.  The snow and cold has the birds busy gathering calories, and with a full feeder in our yard it was a popular place.  Here are a few photos.

Red-bellied Woodpecker - Melanerpes carolinus

Red-bellied Woodpecker – Melanerpes carolinus – several of these are regular visitors to our feeders most of the year.

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