Thursday, April 18, 2019

As Cherry Blossoms Fade Bluebells Peak

After a terribly wet 2018 we have been rewarded with a spectacular spring season.

The cherry blossoms were oh so gorgeous but after a week and a bit they faded and gave way to the bluebells.
 Pretty cherry blossoms backlit by a pretty sundown.
 Cherry blossom confetti with daffodils in my front garden.
 A misty morning farewell to the cherry blossoms with the vibrant spring green foliage starting to takeover.
 Spring frogs in a pond at Riverbend Park.
 If you look carefully nature always has some surprises to reward you with like this white bluebell.
 The winter season had an over abundance of rain and the Potomac overflowed it's banks on several occasions. At Riverbend this spring walking on the main trails in certain spots is like walking on a sandy beach. See in this photo how the sand has washed up into a bank on the left side.
 The spring flower display at Riverbend has been absolutely glorious and I saw many plants for the first time. Chatter along the walkways was wondering if the big green leaf plants might be lily of the valley. I was doubtful because that is not a wildflower native in this area so pulled out my trusty "spring wildflower identification guide" that I purchased at the Riverbend visitor center last year. It gave me the correct answer that these plants are ramps/wild leeks and that they might bloom in June/July. Spring Beauty in the foreground is particularly abundant and pretty this season.
 My first ever sighting of a white trout lily - I saw several of the more common yellow version this year. This is not a particularly wonderful photo but I include it here to demonstrate something I learned this season. Walk slowly and keep your eyes focused on the ground...but also be alert for other folk with cameras who have stopped along the trail. Chances are they have seen something special and will point it out to you if you pause and open a conversation with them. In the same way I was able to pass along a tip as to the location of one of the biggest areas of Sessile Trilliums I have seen in several years (not shown in the interests of keeping from this post turning into a marathon).
 For our fourth walk among the bluebells this season we went to a new location for us: the Seneca Park which is a few miles upriver from Riverbend Park. It is more of a hike to find the bluebells and the paths are more narrow and prone to being muddy, but, oh yes, the bluebells there are just as wonderful this spring.
 I'm including this photo to see if I can get someone else to identify this wildflower. I found only these two stalks and could not see it on my identification chart. Do you know what this white flower in the foreground is?
 Along the riverbank walk at Seneca there are frequent small islands that separate the riverbank from the main Potomac River. On Wednesday when we we there the current was moving quite quickly and I spotted this one duck having a grand ride with not much effort. Note the abundance of bluebells on the small island in the background.
 The bluebells are very tenacious and will find a home just about anywhere along the riverbank. The trees are pretty tenacious as well and this one was at a good lean out over the river and was hosting a bluebell as a bonus.
 Its a bit of an uphill hike on the return from the riverbank to the parking lot but on a sunny spring day there is the added bonus of views like this.
Meanwhile, looking out over my own backyard my garden is rewarding me with bluebells, daffodils and dogwood all in bloom at the same time. Spring in Virginia is oh so pretty this year. The native dogwoods are moving into peak bloom as the bluebells fade after some unusually hot weather this past week.

1 comment:

  1. If you lived here in WNC, people would be harvesting and cooking those ramps. We have yet to try them as the descriptions just don't make them sound that yummy. I looked at a wildflower guide for your green/white blossoms with no luck. I wonder if they are not a native species? Our Carolina Silverbells is at peak this week - I looked out our window yesterday morning and thought it had snowed during the night (didn't have my glasses on yet!). And our first hummer showed up three days ago. Or maybe earlier - we hadn't seen him prior but had the feeder out for a few days by then.


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