Sharp-lobed Hepatica – Native Plant of the Day 03/11/2016
Photo from 03/07/2009. Location: The Pocket, Walker County, Ga. More photos / info at the
Hepatica nobilis detail page.
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.
Round-lobed Hepatica, a native species, has been added to the USWildflowers database (02/17/2016.) Scientific name is Anemone americana. Photo below was taken at the Elsie Holmes Nature Park, Catoosa County, GA on March 15, 2015. Go to the Round-lobed Hepatica detail page for more information.
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:
Rainy days… Tired of them. Sunday, 3/15/2015, promised to be beautiful, and it delivered. During the week I got an email from someone mentioning seeing some spring wildflowers at Elsie Holmes Nature Park near Ringgold, Georgia (Thanks, Jane!). I had heard of this park before, and had it on my “someday” list, so my wife and I decided to head over there after lunch with some grandkids at Clyde’s on Main. Great place! (Both Clyde’s and Elsie Holmes Park.)
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…
A little over a year ago a good friend (my wife said I should use BFF here, but I’ll pass…) invited me to visit a place I’d not heard of before – Walls of Jericho astraddle the Alabama / Tennesse border. I wasn’t able to join him last year, but we made the trip together this year on Tuesday, April 1. It’s advertised as a “strenuous” hike, and it lived up to that billing – there is about 1,000 of elevation drop in less about 2 miles out of the Alabama trailhead (meaning “increase” on the way back out) – but it was well worth the effort.
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.
For the rest of the story…