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.