Saturday, June 28, 2014

Purple Fringed Orchid, Platanthera grandiflora

Jean (my wife) was on another quest. To find the Purple Fringed Orchid Platanthera grandiflora. So, off we went to the Clingmans Dome Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park because she had read that they were currently blooming there. Sure enough, as we rode along she spotted one and then another. We stopped the car and started shooting photographs of this wildflower.
There are two species and this is the larger of the two. The flowers are approximately 1" wide as opposed to the other, Platanthera psycodes, which is said to have flowers 0.5" wide.
After finding more along the road we continued to the Clingmans Dome parking lot and even found a couple there.
The temperature was in the low 50s and I was still dressed for the upper 80s. Having recently removed my cold weather clothes from the car I decided not to climb to the tower on top of Clingmans dome. Guess I wasn't being a good boy scout. I wasn't prepared!
If you want to see this wildflower the time to go is now. Below is a link where I got some of the information to write about this flower, along with, more information and locations to find it in Western North Carolina.
FYI, the Clingmans Dome road and Appalachian Trial here are on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina but, your cell phone may tell you you are in Kentucky!
http://www.ashevillenatural.com/orchidpurplefringed.html

Friday, June 27, 2014

Trillium Seed

As I noted in the previous post the trillium wildflowers have gone to seed here in the Southern Appalachians. This was one of several on our hike to Gregory Bald in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last Monday. It seems we like to look for trillium when they are blooming or before they begin to bloom in late winter. This year I found I also have an interest in finding them after the bloom has gone to seed. Just another interesting season before they are gone for another summer, fall and winter.

Cathedral Rocks, Arizona

Trillium season is about over so, it is time to update this site with more "other stuff". Looking thru my photos a while ago I ran across a lot of photos from our winter trip out west, earlier this year when it was cold here. Still the winter skies here and out there can be an awesome blue. This is especially true in areas of red landforms and where bare, white tree branches enhance the colors. Here in the Southern Appalachians hazy summer days enhance the beauty of the Blue Ridges. Wildflowers are abundant and sunrises and sunsets fill our world with color. As the summer rolls along, looking forward to fall and winter  and spring again, enjoy each of the seasons. Now and then I will throw in a trillium or two for your enjoyment also.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sweet White Trillium

There are still Sweet White Trillium (right) and Painted Trillium blooming along the Appalachian Trail on the way from New Found Gap to Charley's Bunion. Trilliums bloom in to June and I have often wondered where because they are usually gone at my favorite trillium hunting places by June. I guess since the AT is at around 5000 feet in elevation in the Smokys they must bloom later then at lower elevations.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Deep Gap Trilliums

Painted Trillium is still one of my favorites. We found this bed unexpectedly in Deep Gap where several species of trillium and other wildflowers are blooming right now. You can find more trilliums and nature scenes on my Facebook Trilliumtraveler page, too. I have several Facebook pages. Just look for Richard Edwin Hyatt and you can find them from there. This season Jean and I have found eleven species of trillium and some orchids and other wildflowers. It is a great time to get out with nature.

Friday, April 25, 2014

While searching for trilliums in the Chattahoochee National Forest of Rabun County, Georgia, Jean and I came upon this Pinxter blooming happily in the woods. At first we only saw one lonesome flower on a small bush. Wondering where it came from we looked up into the forest and there we found these about 15 feet up above and a bit farther into the woods. When we see these we can expect to see other Rhododendron blooming elsewhere very soon. Another wildflower bush that puts on a show is the Flame Azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum) and these will soon be showing there beauty, too. Flame Azalea are white to red and bloom from May to June or even July at higher elevations. In the past we have found both these wildflowers and other Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel at Tallulah Gorge State Park. So, keep your eyes open in Rabun County and the rest of the Southern Appalachians this spring!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Upper Tallulah River Catesby's Trillium

Here is yesterday's trillium we found on the Upper Tallulah River near Tallulah River Campground. This is a Cateby's Trillium that was among several more on a steep slope. You may want to compare it to my previous post. While the flower here  is quite colorful it is often white.