Category Archives: The Pocket

The Pocket on Pigeon Mountain #Wildflower Status Update 04/14/2016 – 39 Species Blooming

This will likely be my last status update on wildflowers at The Pocket this season. The overstory is filling out, and the leafy understory is blocking what sun makes it through the leaves on the trees, so the spring ephemeral season is drawing to a close. From a species count – this time I counted 39 species blooming – it seems to be active, but most of those are in definite decline. This would be a particularly good time to come if you want to catch some of those species in fruit. The massive display of Bent White Trillium (Trillium flexipes) is still on, but it and most other species are past their peak.

White Baneberry, Doll's Eyes - Actaea pachypoda

White Baneberry – time to be transitioning to the Doll’s Eyes common name – Actaea pachypoda

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The Pocket on Pigeon Mountain Status Update 04/07/2016 – 40 Species Blooming

Another hiatus from The Pocket of almost 2 weeks. Repeating from the last report – “Even more species are blooming now than two weeks ago.” This time I counted 40 species blooming, including one I don’t recall ever seeing down there before – Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata.) But the show is the massive display of Bent White Trillium (Trillium flexipes) – nearly every plant I saw had an open blossom, and the hillside was covered with them in many places.

Bent White Trillium - Trillium flexipes

Bent White Trillium – Trillium flexipes

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The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain #Wildflower Status Update 03/25/2016

It’s been nearly 2 weeks since I made it down to The Pocket – my apologies for the paucity of status updates this year.  Even more species (38) are blooming now than two weeks ago (28), even though we’ve lost, or nearly lost, a few. I only saw a single Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) bloom, Harbinger-of-Spring is gone, Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) has completed its bloom, there are only a few Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum) still blooming, Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) are essentially gone, and I couldn’t find the single Pennywort (Obolaria virginica) I saw two weeks ago.

Dutchman's Breeches

The only remaining Dutchman’s Breeches flowers I could find.

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The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain Status Update 3/12/2016

The warm weather has continued, along with a fair bit of rain. It’s been 10 days since my last trip to The Pocket (3/2), and I was expecting some significant changes in what was blooming. Some news – the Harbinger-of-Spring is almost gone. However, that’s not the only news… Wait for it…

Wood Poppy, Celandine Poppy - Stylophorum diphyllum

Wood Poppy – Stylophorum diphyllum

Not just the Wood Poppy…

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The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain Status Update 3/2/2016

As reported a month back, Hepatica, Harbinger-of-Spring, and a Star Chickweed were blooming at The Pocket at the end of January as a result of our unusually warm winter. We had some cold weather in February, and nothing much had changed in mid-February. My wife and I were out of town for a couple of weeks, so when we returned yesterday, I was anxious to see what had developed in our absence. While the boardwalk itself doesn’t show too much action, there is a lot that is cranking up both on the trail to the bottom of the falls past the end of the boardwalk and on the Pocket Loop Trail (aka the horse trail) up to the top of the falls.

Bloodroot - Sanguinaria canadensis

Bloodroot – Sanguinaria canadensis

Yes, Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) is blooming along the horse trail – I haven’t see it this early in four years, implying (as expected) an early spring this year.

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Early Report on The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain 02/16/2016

As reported a couple of weeks ago, we’ve had a VERY warm winter, with Hepatica and Harbinger of Spring blooming when I visited The Pocket on January 30 – the earliest I’ve ever seen native wildflowers blooming at The Pocket. We finally had some “real winter” in the weeks since then, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I visited The Pocket today. That cold snap slowed things down, but there is some progress. If your “thing” is to see Harbinger of Spring at peak, or to see the waterfalls with a really good flow, this is a good time to visit The Pocket.

Harbinger-of-Spring, Pepper and Salt - Erigenia bulbosa

Harbinger-of-Spring – Erigenia bulbosa

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Wildflowers at The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain – In January!

Who would expect Hepatica to be blooming in January? Today my wife and I wanted to enjoy a beautiful day with some time outside, so we decided to go down to The Pocket for a walk on the boardwalk. The earliest I’ve seen Harbinger of Spring blooming down there previously was Feb 9 (back in 2009), but as warm as it’s been I wasn’t going to be surprised if we found that early bloomer with flowers. But I wasn’t expecting this:

Sharplobe Hepatica - Anemone acutiloba

Sharplobe Hepatica – Anemone acutiloba

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The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain Status Update 4/9/2015 – Still looking great!

While some of the early bloomers are gone – no more Dutchman’s Breeches, for example – this is STILL a great time for a visit to The Pocket. My growing wildflower checklist for The Pocket is up to 59 species now, and 41 of them are blooming now, even though a few of those are almost gone. If you want to see Bluebells, better hurry; they are declining fast. The Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) are gone, and I only saw one small patch of Carolina Spring Beauty (Claytonia caroliniana). All three Trillium species are still in full glory, but probably the dominant species blooming right now are Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata), and Purple Phacelia (Phacelia bipinnatifida), which you’ll see all along the Pocket Road on your way in to the parking area.

Eastern Columbine and Purple Phacelia

Eastern Columbine and Purple Phacelia

 

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The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain Status Update 4/3/2015 – Signature Blooms!

This is a great time for a visit to The Pocket; I hadn’t been able to get down there in nearly 3 weeks (apologies to those that were looking for a status report last week) and so many species are blooming now! Bluebells, Wood Poppies (Celandine), Purple Phacelia, and all three Trillium species are at peak, along with a couple of others that aren’t considered “signature species” for The Pocket.

Wood Poppy

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The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain Status Update 3/16/2015 – Game On!!

Today (3/16) was beautiful – clear skies and about 70 degrees by noon. The weather had been pretty warm for several days, with a lot of rain showers over those several days, so I was hopeful that things would have picked up a bit from my last report on 3/7. And had it! Of the 53 species on my current version of my wildflower checklist for The Pocket, we (my wife, a lovely homeschool group we met up with, and I) found 13 blooming right now.

Sanguinaria canadensis

Bloodroot – Sanguinaria canadensis

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