As expected, the Hepatica were still blooming at the Pocket – they were starting to bloom the last few days of January, but after all, it is just mid-February. Also as expected, Harbinger-of-spring was blooming. Not surprisingly, Star Chickweed was blooming, but I was surprised that with the other plants in bloom, I didn’t find Toothwort in flower (although I did find one with buds.) But there were two other surprises for me, these on the positive side.
Look what was poking up through the leaves along the boardwalk:
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…
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
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.
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.
Yesterday (3/27) was one of the rare days this spring – mostly clear skies and warmer weather – into the 60’s. As a plus a couple of my grandkids wanted to join me, so a great time at The Pocket was guaranteed. Several of the “signature species” at The Pocket – Virginia Bluebell, Wood (Celandine) Poppy, Dutchman’s Breeches (or, as my grandson called them, “Upside Down Pants from Holland), Trout Lily are blooming right now. I’m developing a checklist to use so I won’t have to photograph or remember what all is blooming, and of the 51 species on my current version of the checklist, 25 are blooming right now.
While the weather is keeping things slow, things are picking up at The Pocket. Several species have started blooming, and even more are “almost there.” Checking last year’s reports, we’re tracking pretty close to 3/10/2013. The big excitement for me today was finding that a few Dutchman’s Breeches have started blooming.
Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised considering the cold weather we had in January and February, but I do continue to be surprised about how late the wildflowers are starting at The Pocket. Even so, today’s trip was a good one – not only because it was a beautiful day, but also because what is blooming is beautiful. The biggest “news” is that Bloodroot is now starting to bloom.
While there were only a few Bloodroot blooming along the boardwalk, there were hundreds up the Pocket Loop Trail.
I wasn’t planning on going down to The Pocket this weekend, but my wife had other plans for Sunday, so she suggested that I do something to take advantage of the beautiful day, so I headed down there shortly after getting home from church. In addition to walking the boardwalk and the trail up to the falls, I did a little back country walking above the bluff north of the horse trail. Wildflowers are abundant; here is my report, and a couple of photos taken off the beaten path in The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain.
The Phacelia are blooming. There is a Phacelia in the field to the right as you walk down to the boardwalk; they are blooming along the boardwalk and all the way up to the falls. The photo above was taken up on the top of the north bluff.