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.
Cindy and I headed down to The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain around 4:30 Friday afternoon. I knew the light would be failing on the Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail soon after we arrived, but I was committed for Saturday, and wanted to make sure I was able to make a weekly report on the wildflower status during the spring season. If you’re into watching the seed-formation process, this is a good time for you. There is still an abundance of wildflowers in The Pocket, making a trip absolutely worthwhile, but of the “signature flowers,” Virginia bluebell and wood poppy are past blooming or almost so, and the bent trillium is abundant but in decline. The dominant species in the boardwalk area is probably the wild hyacinth, with the wild geranium still providing a pink splash around much of the trail.
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.
Due to rain and obligations, it had been 9 days since I’d been down to The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain. Today was the Chattanooga Valley Presbyterian Church’s Keen-agers’ annual (I think) wildflower hike at The Pocket, so at 10 AM I joined the other folks in my age group at the church, and soon we headed on down to Pigeon Mountain. I returned from the hike with 381 photographs; two of them with people in them. After an initial run through the photographs, I’ve deleted about 150 of them; both photos of people remain.
Five days ago I said “a couple more weeks” for the columbine. Down by the creek they are just getting close; one plant is real close to opening up its bloom. But up above the falls on a rock that gets sun most of the day, there was a single columbine blossom adorning that rock. There were a few other surprises along the way. Continue reading