Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lazy Elk

Lots of elk last night near Cherokee in the Great Smoky Mountains (about the third clearing after Mingus Mill) and along the south end of the Blue Ridge Parkway (several at US 19 & one big bull elk at Mile High overlook Heintooga Ridge Road).
Oconaluftee Elk

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!

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.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Nodding Trillium

Today's trillium I found on the road cut of the upper Tallulah River in the Chattahoochee National Forest, Rabun County, Georgia, USA. I believe it to be a Bent Trillium (Trillium Flexipes) because of the shape the braces. The flower itself nods below the whorl of leaves. Here I propped it up to show the flower better. Notice the smooth, oval-shaped edge of the pedal. The Catesby's Trillium I posted yesterday is similar except that the petals are wavy and recurved back. Also known as Nodding Trillium, the Bent Trillium antlers are supposed to be creamy white. These, however, are showing yellow in my photo which means I may need to do more research to make sure it is a Bent Trillium.— at Chattahoochee National Forest, Rabun County, Georgia.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Painted Trillium 4-2014

Because of is colorful center the Painted Trillium is one of the main trilliums used for book & magazine covers, favorite photos, etc. It is a rather small trillium often overlooked by wildflower enthusiasts. Because of its dark leaves and small size it blends with its companion plants. So, be careful not to step on it or other plants in such places. The Painted Trillium may be found in most to the eastern states and Canada. While it isn't considered an Alabama flower, I wouldn't be surprised to find it in the North Alabama, Southern Appalachian Mountain. Kentucky, Michigan, New York and Ohio consider it threatened, endangered, exploitable (venerable) or endangered in that order. Like all other flowers in the national parks these trilliums are protected so, don't pick them (or step on them, or other flowers, just to get a picture). I make this point because I often find the soil beaten down around one last remaining flower because many people just have to plant themselves next to it to get a picture. This compacts the soil so, next year none may grow back.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Becky Branch Falls

After the recent rains Becky Branch Falls is flowing very nicely. It is a year-round falls but, the recent rain has made it even better. I took about 20 exposures of the falls that I will someday stitch together to create a photo of the whole falls in one picture top to bottom. That should be fun.

Vasey's Trilli

At Warwoman Dell the trilliums are not ready to bloom as yet. That is except for one Vasey's Trillium I did not photograph. It was well into the natural garden of trilliums and other wild plants and I was afraid my footsteps would degrade the garden. This is a Vasey's that was nearer the trail. As you can see the bloom is below the whorl of leaves and is a red or maroon color. The Vasey's is nearly as tall as the Large-flowered Trillium. The Large-flowered Trillium is our tallest trillium and has a white flower with a yellow center that blooms above the whorl of leaves. When in the forest take nothing but, pictures and leave nothing but, nothing! Please stay on established trails and leave the forest as you found it. Well, you can take the trash out that less caring people leave.


A member of the Araceae or Arum Family, Jack in the Pulpit isn't a Trillium.  Similar to trilliums it is a three leaved plant that usually grows where trillium grow. Today I found several at Warwoman Dell. 

Little Falls

Warwoman Dell is a favorite place to find trilliums in the spring. As usual I couldn't pass up the little waterfall at the end of the trail where the trillium grow. This year I found the Vaseys Trillium are still budding getting ready to bloom. It will be a good year to see Vaseys Trillium. I only found one in bloom and because is was at quite a distance into the bed of trilliums I decided not to venture into the area. Walking into it would have caused the ground to be compacted resulting in fewer trilliums next year. A bed of trillium is a place you don't even what to leave footprints.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Cropped Photo of Large-flowered Trillium

The Large-flowered Trillium Trillium grandiflorum is one of the most abundant trilliums in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Trilliums spring from bulbs and have a single upright stalk that has a whorl of three broad bracts (like leaves). Each leaf narrows  to a sharp tip. Above the whorl of bracts is a short stalk called a pedicellate bearing a single flower. The flower has three green or reddish sepals and three white pedals that may start off pink or turn pink to red as it ages. In the center of these white petals are six yellow stamens and three very short yellow stigmas. As can be see the plant lives up to the name "trillium" that means tri-flower.

Trillium and Water

Large-flowered Trillium, Trillium Grandiflorum are blooming in most of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We found these last night along US 441 just before the Kephart Trail. Many other species of trillium and other wildflowers are almost full bloom now. It is a good time to go!
These Catesby's Trillium, Trillium catesbaei are almost ready to bloom along the Shortline Trail at Tallulah Falls State Park in Rabun County, Georgia, 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Favorite Wildflower Spot - Trashed!

So, I was out to one of my favorite wildflower spots today to bring you a photo. To say the least when I saw this I became instantly angry! Why do people do things like this when there is a refuse collection place 5 miles away! Hardly a day goes by that I don't find similar foolishness on the part of our uneducated human family. In this case, I did what I felt compelled to do, I took a picture then went and got a couple of trash bags and cleaned it up. I took the cans to the recycling center and thew the trash in the dumpster for trash. Every one talks about a better world. It starts right here! Please share this and talk to anyone who needs educated on the matter.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail March 31, 2014

Sweet White Trillium also at Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail
Here is the report I put on my Facebook page for Trillium Traveler a little while ago about our trip to Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail

We went to Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail in the Pocket of Georgia, (Northwest Georgia, West of Lafayette) yesterday. I thought we were a bit early when I got there. But, then. We found this Celandine Poppy and more. Here is a list of flowers we found blooming.
1. Celendine Poppy
2. Virginia Bluebells
3. Dutchmans Britches
4. Trailing Trillium 
5. Large Flowered Trillium 
6. Trout Lily 
And, many more! Don't wait too long before you go. The best is now until about 3 or 4 weeks. Maybe only 3 weeks.

Friday, March 28, 2014

First 2014 Trillium Bud

I finally found this years first bud on Laurel Creek Road near the tunnel on the way back from Cades Cove. It was this past Monday. Cades Cove is a great place to see wildlife and enjoy the history of the Smokys. And, from now until June the Smokys will be loaded with trilliums and other wildflowers. Once again it is Trillium Season. More pictures to come. I have found more trilliums in full bloom and I will soon be posting them for your enjoyment. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Wildflower 2014 Season Begins

It is here! Time to start looking for wildflowers in your favorite locations or in new locations you would like to visit. Once again, I will be firing this blog up with new posts and pictures for the 2014 season.
Over the past few months I have been busy posting to several of my Facebook pages on all sorts of subjects so, if you want to find out what I have been up to, look for me on Facebook.
The photo on the right was taken March 6, 2012 so, you may want to go searching your favorite spots now.