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 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:
My wife and I made a trip down to the Pocket on Tuesday, 1/31/2017. With the warm winter we’ve had, I was not going to be surprised to find something blooming – and it was! There were dozens of Hepatica (Anemone acutiloba) blooming along the boardwalk. I expected to find Harbinger-of-spring (Erigenia bulbosa) blooming as well, but none were to be found.
Here’s a photo of one of the Hepatica:
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.)