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.
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.