Native Plant of the Day 04/07/2014
Photo from March 18, 2009. Location: The Pocket, Walker County, GA.
Rue Anemone - for more photos / info go to the Thalictrum thalictroides detail page.
Yesterday (3/27) was one of the rare days this spring – mostly clear skies and warmer weather – into the 60’s. As a plus a couple of my grandkids wanted to join me, so a great time at The Pocket was guaranteed. Several of the “signature species” at The Pocket – Virginia Bluebell, Wood (Celandine) Poppy, Dutchman’s Breeches (or, as my grandson called them, “Upside Down Pants from Holland), Trout Lily are blooming right now. I’m developing a checklist to use so I won’t have to photograph or remember what all is blooming, and of the 51 species on my current version of the checklist, 25 are blooming right now.
For the rest of the story…
My wife and I were passing through Toccoa Falls, Georgia on Saturday, March 22, heading back home from Devil’s Fork State Park in South Carolina, and decided to stop in to see the namesake waterfalls. My sister had attended Toccoa Falls College in the 1960′s, and a friend of my daughter’s family from Papua New Guinea is attending there now, so we knew the waterfalls was on the campus of the college. We stopped at the guard’s gate for directions – straight down the road until we come to the gift shop in the Gate Cottage. Access to the falls is through the gift shop, paying a small fee – $2 for most adults, $1 each for those of us over the age of 60. A short walk of about 100 yards up a nice trail along Toccoa Creek brings you to a view of the 186′ waterfalls.
While the weather is keeping things slow, things are picking up at The Pocket. Several species have started blooming, and even more are “almost there.” Checking last year’s reports, we’re tracking pretty close to 3/10/2013. The big excitement for me today was finding that a few Dutchman’s Breeches have started blooming.
Read on for a more complete update…
Saturday, March 14, 2014 was a beautiful day with perfect morning temperatures for hiking, and fortunately my grandson Philip had asked me to take him for a hike, so around 9 AM we headed out from Camp Vesper Point for a visit to the nearby North Chickamauga Creek Gorge State Natural Area. This was my grandson’s first visit to the North Chick, and I hadn’t been there in many years, so while I was hoping for wildflowers, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
It was a cloudy and dreary day today, following a lot of rain yesterday and last night, but Cindy and I made a quick run down to The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain again today to keep from being cooped up in the house another day. We were glad we did – the yellow and blue are out – Bluebells and Wood Poppies are blooming!
Read on for the rest of the list, and a few more photos. Click on the photos for larger images, and then “back” to return to this page.
This is Leap Day. For this once-every-four-years day, I thought that rather than the normal Native Plant of the Day (#NPOD on Twitter) I’d post a few native plants from and a report on the early spring status of the wildflowers at one of Georgia’s premier wildflower locations, The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain. As things worked out, Feb 27 was the day available to make the short trek down to that part of Walker County.
It was a beautiful day. When my wife and I headed down to The Pocket on Monday, Feb 27, 2012, we considered both the beautiful day and the time we were able to spend together a blessing from God. We also expected to find wildflowers, since we’ve had very little real winter and quite a warm February. However, we had no idea!
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.
On Saturday I participated in the Georgia Botanical Society outing to The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain, led by Mike Christison. I’m a new member of the BotSoc, as they call it, and this membership in this organization is already paying dividends in many ways. In addition to showing me two more wildflowers sites on Pigeon Mountain, I picked up two new species at The Pocket. One of those was the Roundleaf Yellow Violet.
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.
The Glen on Lookout Mountain, with the trailhead along Och’s Highway which goes from Chattanooga to Lookout Mountain, Georgia – home of Rock City – is a great place to take the grandkids. A nice trail with no really challenging sections, relatively short walk to the creek down which the water cascades (at least until the dry summer,) and that great area with high rock bluffs makes for a fun adventure without taking the entire day. Continue reading
Six days since I had been up to The Pocket. The rain broke during church, so after the church lunch I headed down to check out the wildflowers. The Spring Beauty is currently the dominant flower in terms of number in bloom; they are everywhere. Continue reading
Cindy wasn’t able to get down to The Pocket on Saturday, and suggested that we might go down there today. With the change to daylight savings time, we had an extra hour of daylight, so shortly after 5 pm we headed down. It was another great day for the wildflowers of The Pocket.