The Georgia Botanical Society made their trip to Cloudland Canyon State Park on Saturday, April 11, and I saw their photo report on Facebook. That, and a report from Richard Ware’s Sunday trip to the same location, inspired me to take advantage of a break in this week’s rain on Tuesday to get back over to Sitton’s Gulch to see the Dwarf Larkspur, Southern Red Trillium, and other wildflowers. It was a great choice, with at least 34 species of wildflower observed.
Dwarf Larkspur – Delphinium tricorne – Unusual blue form along Sitton Gulch Trail side loop
This is a great time for a visit to The Pocket; I hadn’t been able to get down there in nearly 3 weeks (apologies to those that were looking for a status report last week) and so many species are blooming now! Bluebells, Wood Poppies (Celandine), Purple Phacelia, and all three Trillium species are at peak, along with a couple of others that aren’t considered “signature species” for The Pocket.
I wasn’t planning on going down to The Pocket this weekend, but my wife had other plans for Sunday, so she suggested that I do something to take advantage of the beautiful day, so I headed down there shortly after getting home from church. In addition to walking the boardwalk and the trail up to the falls, I did a little back country walking above the bluff north of the horse trail. Wildflowers are abundant; here is my report, and a couple of photos taken off the beaten path in The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain.
The Phacelia are blooming. There is a Phacelia in the field to the right as you walk down to the boardwalk; they are blooming along the boardwalk and all the way up to the falls. The photo above was taken up on the top of the north bluff.
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.
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.