I had not planned on getting back down to The Pocket so soon after Sunday’s trip, but I got an email from Clayton Webster of the Over The Hill Hiking Group on Tuesday inviting me to join them on their visit to The Pocket today. I was really glad I joined them, not only because they are such a fine, fun group of folks, but without them I would have missed a Bloodroot still blooming! With that Bloodroot and all the other early spring flowers except Harbinger-of-Spring making a presence (yes, Dutchman’s Breeches STILL blooming) and so many other species at peak bloom, today might have been the perfect day for a visit to The Pocket. Thanks, Clayton!
Another hiatus from The Pocket of almost 2 weeks. Repeating from the last report – “Even more species are blooming now than two weeks ago.” This time I counted 40 species blooming, including one I don’t recall ever seeing down there before – Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata.) But the show is the massive display of Bent White Trillium (Trillium flexipes) – nearly every plant I saw had an open blossom, and the hillside was covered with them in many places.
Wednesday, 04/16/2014, woke up bright and beautiful, if a bit chilly with overnight lows in the lower 30’s. I had a reminder on my calendar to check for Trillium sulcatum, a species I had not seen previously, at Cloudland Canyon State Park. Calendar and weather were in sync, so around 10 AM I headed out for my first visit to this wonderful, nearby state park in 2014. I spotted some Vernal Iris (Iris verna) along the park’s entrance road, a portent of what I hoped would be a beautiful walk. I was not disappointed.
It’s been nearly two weeks since I have been to The Pocket, and things are changing. Several others of the “signature species” are waning – Virginia Bluebell, and Wood (Celandine) Poppy are almost gone, but all three of the Pocket’s three Trillium species are still blooming right now. Now is the time to head to The Pocket if you want to see the Trillium flexipes display – they’re at peak, but beginning to show some signs of age.
For the rest of the story…
Yellow Flag, an introduced and possibly invasive species, has been added to the USWildflowers database (11/27/2012.) Scientific name is Iris pseudacorus. It is also known by the common names Paleyellow Iris, Yellow Iris, and Water Flag. Photo below was taken along an irrigation canal in Boise, Ada County, ID, on June 8, 2010. Go to the Yellow Flag detail page for more photos and information.
We have a colony of Iris in a drainage ditch in our yard. We’ve been here over 30 years; the iris were there when we arrived. I finally cleared the privet out of the ditch and surrounding area a few years back, and the irises have flourished, providing us with a lot of enjoyment each spring. They started blooming a few days ago; this photo is from this morning just as the light reached them.
Dwarf Violet Iris, a native species, has been added to the USWildflowers database. Scientific name is Iris verna. This plant also goes by the common names Vernal Iris, Spring Iris, and Dwarf Iris.
To avoid crowds like those that were on the Shirley Miller Trail at The Pocket on Pigeon Mountain last week, I headed down there early Saturday morning, arriving at the parking area shortly after 8 AM. The sky was overcast, but the wind was low – a good situation for wildflower photography. My first stop was the dogwood tree beside the parking area.