Thursday, April 19, 2007

Smokies Spring

Sorry I have posted so few photos this month. I am busy preparing for the Wildflower Pilgrimage in the Smokies that starts in just a few days. Here are some photos I got during my recent trip to the Smokies. (I am having trouble getting the photos to post. Wherever you see an empty box with an X, rest assured I will try again later to fix it.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Yellow Trillium

Here is Yellow Trillium, Trillium luteum, which I found beside the road on the way to Greenbriar Trail on Monday, April 9th. This is one of several shots I got that morning, and I am preparing many of those shots for my presentation on "Composing Wildflower Photos," which I will present at the Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage in Gatlinburg during the last full week of April. I will also be presenting a show called "Woodland Spring." If you want more information on the pilgrimage, just type the name into Google and you should find their home page.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I found these bluets on Monday, April 9, in the Greenbriar area of the Smokies. I have noticed that bluets tend to do well in damp areas near the edges of streams. This clump was growing with moss.

Snowy Showy Orchid

Here is the SNOW-COVERED Showy Orchid, which I found on Saturday, April 7th. The next day, I went back to check on this plant, and found the stem and flowers brown and wilted. This plant will survive, but it will likely NOT be making seeds this year. Next to this plant was another orchid, but with BUDS, not flowers. The orchid with buds looked just fine on Sunday, so the slightly later blooming time will work to its advantage this year. Snow and hard frosts might not be common in early April, but they are not unheard of. As for the damaged plant, let's hope that next year will bring it better luck.
Here is a bud that survived the hard frost with only a little bit of damage. This was the lucky plant this year.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Dutchman's Breeches

Here is Dutchmen's Breeches, which I found in the Smokies a couple days ago. Bad news, however, it got really cold this weekend and the frost/snow caused a lot of the Dutchmen's flowers to shrivel up. The stems leaned over, and the flowers dried up and started to wilt. I saw the damage on Easter day. But these flowers are perennials and in the long run, they will survive. Stay tuned on my website to see some snow-covered Showy Orchids (Orchis spectabilis). In the case of the orchid, as with many other plants, individuals that were flowering experienced definite damage, but plants with buds came through the frost just fine. Seed counts may be lower this year than usual, but these plants are adapted to life in the forest, so they will survive. Clear-cutting, landscaping, and paving provide a bigger threat than an occasional hard frost.

Freezing May Apples in the Smokies

This is just a quick snap shot of May Apple yesterday here in the Smokies. It was COLD and wintry in the woods. When the sun came out from behind the clouds (intermittently) it would cause some of the snow to melt. But here you can see the crystalline snow as well as melted snow on the "umbrella shaped" leaf of the May Apple.