While we had a very cold January, February warmed up, and with the next week also expected to be quite warm – temperatures in the 60s, 70s, with even a possibility of reaching 80 degrees – I would expect a lot of action by next weekend. It was reported to me that a few Hepatica (Anemone acutiloba) and Harbinger of Spring (Erigenia bulbosa) were blooming a week ago; those are abundant now, and I found a few other species blooming along the Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail as well.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Today (3/07/15) was one of the rare days so far this year – mostly clear skies and warmer weather – into the 60’s. That made for a great day to get down to The Pocket for a status update. There’s not a lot of change concerning which species are blooming (with an exception) – but those that have been blooming are picking up the pace a lot. The one new species I found blooming – Carolina Spring Beauty; a single plant along the trail to the falls.
Today (2/11) was sunny and unseasonally warm (62 degrees by late afternoon) for February, but much colder weather is forecast – tomorrow topping out in the 30s. Since we’ve been out of town for several days, I figured I should take this opportunity to check to see if the wildflowers are starting to show up at The Pocket. I was expecting to see Harbinger-of-Spring and that other harbinger of spring, Hepatica blooming, and kind of expected to see some Toothwort blooming. Well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.
For the rest of the story…
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.
Read on for a more complete update…
Eight warm days after my last trip by The Pocket I expected more. I thought I’d see Harbinger of Spring, Hepatica, and Toothwort blooming, and possibly a few other early bloomers – maybe some Chickweed and Spring Beauties. Well, I guess as far as expectations are concerned two out of three ain’t bad, as the saying goes. Harbinger of Spring and Hepatica were all that was blooming; very similar to Feb 4 last year, so it looks like we’re nearly 3 weeks behind last year’s early bloom. I did get to spend some quality time with a few Hepatica. Start planning your trip to The Pocket – remember it is now a fee area.
Check out what else I saw:
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…