Friday, March 23, 2012

March 19, 2012...a walk at Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary

Tom and I decided it was long past time to make our first visit of the year to Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary. We wondered if we would find any Harbinger-of-Spring since the Purple Cress was already blooming at Charleston Falls. We were in luck. We found a few Harbinger-of-Spring (Erigenia bulbosa) although we had missed the height of its season. This is a photo from last year.
One of the special plants growing at Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary is Spicebush (Lindera benzoin). If a twig is scratched, it releases a lovely spicy fragrance. The flowers which have no petals are tiny, hard for me to photograph with my little camera so I was pleased Tom was with me to take this photo of the tiny blossoms with his Canon. The bushes were in full bloom so there was a yellow haze about eye level throughout the woods.
And here are more plants that we found. We found both waterleafs...Virginia (Hydrophyllum virginanum)
And...Appendaged (Hydrophyllum appendiculatum)
We found lots of Purple Cress (Cardamine douglassii). This must be the perfect year for that plant.
We found the first Hepatica that we have seen. Most of the Hepatica that I see in this area is round-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica americana). We have had reports that it has been blooming at Brukner Nature Center for over a week.
This is one of my favorite photos that Tom took. It is even possible to see the veins in the white petals of this Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis).
And we found three surprises. All are in the photo below that I took.
The Dutchmen's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) was a surprise because it wasn't blooming and it is blooming at Charleston Falls. That could be partly because the Charleston Falls patch is in a sunnier location.

The ragged "umbrella" leaf is Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum). I think of it as one of the later spring flowers. On Nature Awareness hikes I always tell the children it is called Mayapple because it blooms in early May and has little green "apples" on it before May is over. There were lots of Mayapples with their leaves unfurled, not just this one. And below the Mayapple  is a Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata). It usually blooms when the Large-flowered Trillium blooms. Here is a close look at a Wild Blue Phlox plant.
I am fascinated by wildflowers for multiple reasons. Many of them have unique life cycles and interesting adaptations. In addition, they often have legends associated with them.

1 comment:

  1. Nice early Spring finds. I enjoy seeing Wildflowers too. Our local state park is blossoming with them. The warm weather has encouraged a lot of growth already.