Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Traveler

     When I came up with the name Trillium Traveler I was looking for a name for this blog. I have another blog I use to write whatever is on my mind at the moment. But, Trillium Traveler has become more or less unused when the trilliums are not in bloom. While I can use old photos of trilliums or just write notes, I think it will be better to add the Traveler to this blog. I like to travel even more than I like trillium wildflowers. And, I can travel all year long. So, from now on you will find more photos of my travels on this blog along with the photos of trilliums when I choose to post time. It will be more of a trillium/traveler blog. Hope you will stay with me. Thanks.
     The Pecos River or Rio Pecos runs east of the Rio Grand and eventually into the Rio Grand well into Texas. Last fall we followed this road along the Pecos River in New Mexico until the river ran away from the road. As it looked, it could run on forever and we were on our way home. Upon this realization we turned around and headed back to Interstate 40 and points east.
is my other blog if you just can't get enough here and you can find me on Facebook, too.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

Blue Ridge Parkway

It won't be long until the Blue Ridge Parkway is open again, I hope. There will be trilliums blooming between the Great Smoky Mountains and Asheville, North Carolina, I am sure. With the recent snows it may be a week or two until the opening. Since the Great Smoky Mountains New Found Gap Road is closed until the landslide is repaired we are all awaiting the opening to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We also are looking forward to the opening of the New Found Gap Road, too, I expect. Let spring begin!


At Devils Fork State Park I just had to take another picture.

Oconee Bell Wildflower

The Oconee Bell flower is only about one half inch tall and as you may have guessed shaped like a bell. The day we were there is was raining so these are dripping with rain.

Oconee Bell Wildflowers of Devils Fork State Park

We did find Oconee Bell wildflowers blooming along the stream bed in Devils Fork State Park near Lake Jocassee and Salem, South Carolina. It seems Oconee Bell wildflowers only grow near sandy stream beds and only in local areas of North Carolina and South Carolina and Georgia.

Toadshade Trillium

Yesterday, Sunday, March 24, we were not deterred by the rain or cold. We traveled to Devils Fork State Park in South Carolina in search of Oconee Bell wildflowers. On the way we stopped at a favorite trillium site in the Chattahoochee National Forest. It is along US 76 on the Georgia side of the Chattooga River. Literally, hundreds of trillium bloom here each year. Sure enough we found time doing well bursting forth in hopes of spring.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Congaree National Park Thrush

Here is a puzzle. This appears to be either a Gray-cheeked or a Bicknell's Thrush. It was kind enough to just allow me time to take several photos. These species are very similar. An amateur such as myself would have a difficult time making an ID. So, I will leave it up to you.

Great Blue Heron & Cypress

Jean spotted a Great Blue Heron hunting among the giant Cypress trees in Congaree. I put on my 55 to 200 zoom lens and tried to sneak up on the wary great blue. When I would take a step it would take a step. In order to get the shot I had to anticipate where it would be next. Hiding behind a Cypress tree, I was able to get this photo.

The Traveler

Saturday night Jean and I traveled to Newberry, South Carolina where we spent the night. Sunday morning we got up early and drove to Congaree National Park, South of Columbia, South Carolina. Congaree became a national park in 2004. It was designated Congaree Swamp National Monument in 1976 when loggers wanted to log this old growth forest. Many record sized trees are scattered around the walk ways that were saved from the ax with creation of the Congaree Swamp National Monument. It became a Congaree National Park under then president George W. Bush. The "S" word in the name was dropped in order to increase park visitation. There are miles of trails and boardwalks in the park where we saw several Pileated Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, warblers and other birds.   We did see a few butterflies. If you are ever down in this area it is worth a trip for a day or two.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Little Waterfall at Warwoman Dell

I don't know if there is a name for this little waterfall. It is found in the very back of Warwoman Dell on a little nature trail. It is a great trail to find trillium on. There are two waterfalls in Warwoman Dell, this one and Becky Branch Falls. Becky Branch Falls is found by following the Bartram Trail up from the old CCC fish hatchery ruins and across Warwoman Road. If you drove from Clayton, you crossed this part of the Bartram Trail on Warwoman Road on the way into the park. Follow this steep part of Bartram Trail about 1/4 miles to Becky Branch Falls. There is a wooden bridge across Becky Branch to view the falls from.

Round Leaved Violets at Warwoman Dell

I went trillium hunting at Warwoman Dell. I did find a few just starting to come up but, none with flowers on them. One had a bud. On the right is a photo of a clump of Round Leaved Violets that was growing along the trail. Trail conditions are fairly poor as several trees have fallen across it during the winter. In a couple of weeks I expect the trilliums to really begin their season of blooms.

Friday, March 15, 2013

2013 Persistent Trillium

Signs of spring 2013. This little Persistent Trillium is about to put out its flower. Tallulah Gorge is the only place in the world this wildflower lives. It thrives on the slopes of the gorge and can be found near the trails if one in persistent.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Painted Trillium

The Painted Trillium is one of the prettiest wildflowers in the Smokys. This one grows wild along the Oconaluftee River (Beech Flat's Prong across 441 from the Kanati Trail) on the Cherokee side of the Smokys. It is a small trillium and can be easily overlooked. Please be careful watch your step in this garden. This season the trail is closed until the landslide repairs are done on US 441. The Painted Trillium here will likely be done by the time 441 and related trails reopen. You can find Painted Trilliums elsewhere in the Smokys. You will just have to search likely areas. I know I will be looking for them, too.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Little River Trail Trilliums

These trilliums were found along the Little River Trail in February 2012. So, now is a good time to take a walk along that trail at Elkmont, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Trillium Toadshade sessile

It is almost time for the 2013 Trillium Season. Actually, I have seen my first for the year. Not yet blooming of course but, at the location in the Chattahoochee National forest where I found these last year. The location is on US Hwy. 76 just west of the Chattooga River in Rabun County, Georgia.

This garden is a mess. It is where careless people throw their trash out and it falls among the thriving trilliums. The highway brings people traveling north and south, east and west, thru the mountains to enjoy this beautiful place. A few don't care about the environment we live in and just toss aside whatever they do not want to keep. Here I have found old tires, diapers, beer cans and bottles, cola cans and bottles and just plain old trash. It is not just here. It is along our highways and back roads, in our local parks, state parks and National Parks. I am for beauty. Please, don't trash America.