Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Deep Gap Trillium

It was raining a bit when we left Mountain Nature & Wild Bird Supply in Clayton, Georgia, this afternoon. We drove on and talked of skipping our ride out to Deep Gap in the Nantahala National Forest of North Carolina. At the last minute we came upon our road and lured by the wild skipped the trip on home and were on our way to Deep Gap.

More on this later.

Rabun Beach Campground Hike

Yesterday, from the Lake Rabun Beach Campground, Jean and I hiked to Angel Falls and on to Panther Falls. We have wanted to take this hike for some time. And now, it is trillium and wildflower season in Rabun County, Georgia, USA. At the beginning of the hike we found a blooming Catsby's Trillium. And, along the trail, we found many more trillium plants without flowers. Between Angel Falls and Panther Falls we came upon the Catsby's Trillium pictured here. That was it, there were not but a couple blooms along the trail. As we hiked the stream seemed to get dryer and dryer and it seemed we would find no water for a waterfalls. Fortunately, the rock formations of the falls spread the water evenly and made for a nice photo-op. This evening we had some large storms in the area. I expect these falls are roaring with water now. But, we were off on our next wildflower, trillium adventure by then. See more in my next post.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Chattooga River Trillium

This morning we went to the Chattooga River to find a waterfall. Not this rapid but, a another waterfall. Nearby we found Catesby Trillium.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Greenbriar - Yellow Trillium

Photo Tip #4. To blur the background of a photo use a large aperture and adjust your exposure speed as needed. 
We found Yellow Trillium all over the Greenbriar area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.

Cove Hardwoods Trail - Erect White Trillium

Photo Tip #3. If you miss the best light, let the sun shine thru!
Many photographers say the best light is at sunrise or sunset and I won't argue with that. The light can be amazing early and late. Still, may I suggest, there is always a good light if you can just find it. I know in the middle of a bright day the reflection off leaves or metal can be intense blotting out the color and leaving only brilliant light blinding shine. But, if you look thru your eyes that same time of day that is what you see. This is the time of day to watch for a passing cloud, find a shade tree or just use a piece of cardboard to make your own shade. Here I chose to just use the bright sunlight as a back light. Of course if it work for you, you can use an artificial light to make your own "best light"!

This White Erect Trillium was captured on the Cove Hardwoods Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near the the Chimneys Picnic Area.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sosebee Cove

Photo Tip #2. Regularly break the rules!
I believe this to be a "Stinking Benjamin" but, I didn't smell it to be sure.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sosebee Cove Trail Wildflower Area

Photo Tip #1. When it too dark to photograph try a flash!
Sosebee Cove Trail Wildflower Area is on Hwy. 180 just about 6 miles east of Suches, Georgia. Great show of trillium and other wildflowers today.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Warwoman Dell Trillium Question

Just to show how difficult identification of different trilliums can be I am posting a question. Is this a Vasey's TrilliumTrillium vaseyi or a Purple Wakerobin? Vasey's is a nodding trillium that blooms below the tri-leaf of the trillium. The Purple Wakerobin (Trillium erectum?) blooms above these leaves. To make matters worse there is more than one species of Purple Wakerobin.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Little River Road

These wildflowers are called Fire Pink Silene virginica. While riding along Little River Road looking for trilliums when I saw them.  Whenever I see them I can't help taking a photo especially when they grow in such large bunches as these. So, I added them here. 
Not far from these we found more White Erect Trillium, Trillium Erectum growing on the cliff side of the Little River Road. 

Great Smoky Trillium Ride

Continuing on in the Smokys up and over New Found Gap you pass into Tennessee. We passed the trilliums blooming from the Chimneys Overlooks, past the trilliums blooming at the Chimneys Picnic Area and the Cove Hardwood Trail. Then as we drive down towards Sugarlands we see Yellow Trillium,  Trillium erectum blooming all along the roadside even in places you would not expect to see them grow like the shoulder of the road. To me it has been quite a surprise to see trilliums of all species growing in disturbed soils along old logging roads, trails and highways. It has been quite a surprise sure enough!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kanati Trail GSMNP

One of the places to find Painted Trillium is at the beginning of the Kanati Fork Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This fact is fairly well know to people who visit the park looking for Trillium. I think a little lesser known is the fact that instead of the Kanati Fork Trail, just go across US 441 and on that side cross the small foot bridge and follow the small trail that leads to the left without crossing the main stream. Here look carefully for the small but, most beautiful Painted Trillium, Trillium undulatum. Be careful not to step on them or the many other trillium and wildflowers. At first they may be hard to see until you can recognize them in the wild.

To the left is a photo of a Trout Lily, Erythronium americanum. Trout Lilies grow at the beginning of the Kanati Fork Trail. While they are not a trillium I added them here because they often grow near trilliums. And, they are in abundance at this location. The name, Trout Lily is named after leaf of this plant because of it's resemblance to a trout.

Below Jean starts up the Kanati Fork Trail looking for the small Painted Trilliums and other wildflowers.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Trilliums of the Smokys

If you go to the Smokys this is a good time to pick up a free Smokys Guide "The Official Newspaper of Great Smoky Mountains National Park". Inside the current issue you will find maps and lots of information about the Smokys and the wildflowers found there. There is a page with discriptions of these trilliums and where they can be found. Many of these can be seen without even getting out of your car. Of course, it is a lot more fun to walk the wildflower trails seeking that special find.

Here is a list of trilliums shown on the special trillium page that includes where to find them and photos of the flowers. You can find many of these same wildflowers already on this blog. More to come as the season progresses.

Sweet White Trillium, Trillium simile
Wakerobin, Trillium erectum 
Catesby's Trillium, Trillium catesbaei
Sessile-flowered Maroon Trillium, Trillium cuneatum
Vasey's Trillium, Trillium vaseyi
Yellow Trillium, Trillium luteum
Large-flowered Trillium, Trillium grandiflorum
Painted Trillium, Trillium undulatum
Southern Nodding Trillium, Trillium ruglii

Smoky Mountains National Park Trilliums

After leaving Black Rock Mountain State Park I went home got Jean and we drove to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park is about 1 hour from home and we go there often. This, however, is the peak of the wildflower season in the Smokys. Especially, the Trillium wildflowers.
First stop was near the Collins Creek Picnic Area. This is normally the firs place we see trillium in bloom each year. Not so this year. The first trillium we saw was on the Tennessee side of the park. Now, Collins Creek is loaded with Great White Trillium, Trillium grandiflorum. These are in the photo on the right. Notice the center parts are yellow.

Another white trillium grows here also. That is White Erect Trillium - White Wakerobin, Trillium erectum. These are generally a bit smaller and have a dark center. There is also a Purple Wakerobin aka Stinking Benjamin, Trillium erectum 

In all three of these trilliums notice that the flower stands well above the whirl of three leaves of the trillium. This helps in identification of the this wildflower. Of course in the case of the Stinking Benjamin, you could get down and smell the smell of rotting meat to make the identification. This smell attracts carrion seeking flies and insects that help pollinate the flowers.

To the left are White Erect Trillium, Trillium erectum found just before the entrance of the Collins Creek Picnic Area.

Black Rock Mountain - Again!

After hiking the Tennessee Rock Trail on Saturday afternoon I wanted to go back and shoot some trilliums blooming along the trail near the Eastern Continental Divide. So, I got up early and headed up Black Rock Mountain again.

Driving to the top of the mountain I hiked out to the monument shown here. Along the way I found Yellow and Maroon Trilliums growing side by side. Here is where Identification becomes difficult.

Found here are two (or who knows even more) very similar trilliums.

Purple Toadshade - Sweet Betsy, Trillium cuneatum

Sessile Toadshade, Trillium sessile 

Yellow Trillium, Trillium luteum

The hard part is figuring out which is which. It seems some Toadshade Trilliums may have maroon or yellow flowers. There are other differences we will have to learn about along the way!