Cindy and I headed down to The Pocket today not only because I needed to get an update published, but because it was an absolutely beautiful day. And the flowers did not disappoint.
My wife, a grandson, and I took a trip down to Pigeon Mountain to check out an old minesite, but that was just an excuse. We couldn’t avoid a walk around the boardwalk part of Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail. Other than the time with my wife and grandson Joseph, who is learning his wildflowers well, the highlight along the boardwalk for me was the beginning of the wild hyacinth bloom. Photo by Joseph Ibach.
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.
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.
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
It was COLD – 39 degrees – and WINDY. Sunday afternoon, a bit of snow in the morning.
For some reason, my invitees for another trip to The Pocket all declined. Too bad. I thought it would be a quick trip down there, but I found myself lingering. I didn’t find any plants blooming that I hadn’t at least seen buds on previously, but there were still many opportunities for photographs.