It’s been a very busy two weeks, but we made it down to The Pocket today; unfortunately only the boardwalk. The spectacular show is definitely winding down, but there is still plenty to see. Among the flowers now at peak are the Wild Hyacinth – Camassia scilloides.
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…
Native Plant of the Day 01/22/2011.
Photo from April 23, 2010. Location: Zahnd’s Natural Area, Walker County, Ga.
Prester John (Jack in the Pulpit subspecies) - for more photos / info go to the Arisaema triphyllum ssp. quinatum detail page.
Native Plant of the Day 01/21/2011.
Photo from June 24, 2009. Location: The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain, Walker County, Ga.
Jack in the Pulpit - for more photos / info go to the Arisaema triphyllum detail page.
Prester John, a native species, has been added to the USWildflowers database. Scientific name is Arisaema triphyllum ssp. quinatum, a subspecies of Arisaema triphyllum. This plant also goes by the common name Jack in the Pulpit, but this is a distinct separate subspecies from Arisaema triphyllum ssp. triphyllum, the plant we usually see and call “Jack in the Pulpit.”
Work and grandkid schedule have left time only for a quick trip down to The Pocket on Wednesday evening. My primary purpose was to determine if the Bellwort down there is Large-flowered or Perfoliate (mission accomplished.) We also took a spin around the boardwalk and made a trip north of the parking area, but did not get up the horse trail toward the falls, so I’m unable to update the status of flowers found along that trail.
We made a quick trip down to The Pocket on Tuesday evening. We made a short 100-yard walk up the horse trail and took a spin around the boardwalk, so I’m unable to update the status of flowers found along the trail to the falls, but here’s what I’ve got.
In summary: This will be a good weekend at The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain, especially since tomorrow is forecast to be sunny and warm, as was today.
In the May 5 post, I mentioned that the wild hydrangea blossoms were forming their buds. Since I only had photos of prior year’s blossoms – which I think in themselves are quite beautiful – I wanted to make sure I got a chance to photograph them while in bloom. I managed to squeeze out some time (thanks for giving up work on the ceiling, Cindy!) on Saturday, June 6, and was rewarded with finding the hydrangea at peak of their blossom.
I’m calling an official close to the spring wildflower season at The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain, from the USWildflowers.com perspective. While there are still certainly many wildflowers blooming, the image of the Jack in the Pulpit is symbolic of the status of the spring wildflowers. It is moving into the summer season – no remaining trillium blossoms, only a rare scattering of geranium and phacelia, and even the Canada violets are almost entirely gone. The wild hydrangea blossom buds are starting to form, and the flying gnats are becoming a problem.
While I will still make occasional treks down to The Pocket, future reports will be intermittent (maybe until next spring!) and I hope to bring reports from wildflower expeditions into other areas of the region starting, Lord willing, with a report from Big Frog Mountain next week.
For those who were hoping for, as Ed Sullivan would have put it, “A Really Big Shew,” the time has passed in 2009. However, that is relative to The Pocket, and the abundance of wildflowers still exceed what you’ll find in many areas. While the dominant flower along the Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail seems to be Sweet Cicely right now, a species that isn’t exactly ‘showy,’ several of the “signature species” could still be found on Saturday, 4/25.