It was a beautiful Sunday so my wife and I made a quick trip down to The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain after church to check on the status of the wildflowers. Pretty close to the same plants blooming this time as it was on 02/16, with the primary difference being much more abundant Hepatica, and – the exciting part – a number of Bloodroot just starting to bloom!
On Monday, Feb 4, I took a ride down to The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain with a couple of my grandsons – Chase and Jeff. To a great extent this was to get them out from in front of their computers/video games, but also, since we’ve had such a warm winter, to check to see if there were any early signs of spring. We walked the boardwalk and all the way up to and above the falls. We had a good time, and even though I was expecting some indication that spring is around the corner, I was surprised…
I made a July trip over to Cloudland Canyon State Park to see the waterfalls with an expectation that I’d also see many wildflowers along the way, and I wasn’t disappointed. While recently posting a report on a visit to nearby Lula Falls, I discovered that I’d never written the planned report on the Cloudland Canyon trip. I quickly realized that I didn’t remember many of the details of the walk – and I was relieved to discover that the July trip was in 2011, not just this past July, so the memory fade was more reasonable. But to refresh that failing memory, I made another trip up there on Dec 5. Here are a dozen photos from those two “waterfalls and wildflowers walks.”
(Click on any image and you’ll go to Flickr where you can view larger sized images.)
On Friday, 11/23, I was planning for a potential visit to Virgin Falls in February and I ran across information that Virginia Spiraea – Spiraea virginiana – one of the rarest shrubs in North America, is found there. A bit more time on Google quickly revealed that Virginia Spiraea is also found along Rock Creek at Lula Lake, and I got pretty excited. Lula Lake is on Lookout Mountain just above the valley where I live south of Chattanooga. Found the Lula Lake Land Trust on Facebook, and lo and behold, there was a picture of a gentleman looking at their Virginia Spiraea posted only a couple of days earlier, and a notice that the property would be open today, Saturday. OK, there are now some tentative plans for Saturday.
Burgess Falls State Park is a gem that my wife and I discovered on our way to a family reunion at a house on Center Hill Lake near Cookeville Tennessee. We visited the park on Saturday, March 24, and Monday, March 26.
I’d recently heard that the area was open to the public one or two days a month, and my son-in-law took several of his kids up there in April, thoroughly enjoying the visit. When my wife’s brother and his family came for a visit from Florida and wanted to hike in the mountains, this seemed like a great opportunity for my first visit to the reopened area, especially since Cindy’s brother Steve hadn’t been to the area in about 30 years. Saturday morning we packed some snacks, grabbed some grandkids, and our crew of 10 headed up the mountain.