We love to go to the Smoky Mountains and hunt wildflowers. This year we were going to explore the mountains of northern Georgia for the same sort of wildflowers. Well that trip will be postponed for another year.
So Bob started exploring the web for Ohio Nature Preserves and Parks that boasted spring wildflowers. The first part of the adventure was trying to decide if we were in the right place! Found a local resident who told us, “Yep! that is the place. Park on the shoulder.” The shoulder of the road was very small. But on further review we found we could safely park there.
The smaller sign in the background reads “Twinleaf Trail, 2 miles.” We discussed it and decided to set off to see what there was to find. We assured each other if it was too difficult we could just turn back.
Gorgeous day and two bored senior citizens! We took off. The start was fairly boring, but the sky was a stupendous blue and the temperatures were nice. We carried fiberglass collapsible walking sticks. Bob found a deal a couple years ago where two where a bargain price. I rarely use mine, but took it this time, “just in case.” We came to a fork in the trail where the trail began its loop. Bob chose the left side of the fork. We climbed and then the trail began to circle around huge boulders (rocks as big as our living room). Slowly we dropped down. Then a bit more and then a bit more. I kept thinking “Oh man, we are going to have climb back up at some point.”
We did not take our flower identification book with us. (Silly people!) But then that would have been one more thing to carry. I had grabbed a water bottle, tissues, Chap-stick, sunglasses, hat and phone.
So the first Bloodroot were exciting because they bloom very quickly. We often see the leaves without any flower in evidence. Later on the trail we would see better examples. But you know, the first discovery is often your most memorable!
Then we happened upon yellow violets. They are impressive to me because I have not gotten them to grow in our yard. There was one, then three, then eight, fifteen. I was having a blast! When I got to thirty I asked Bob if he thought I should stop counting? He counted six more and said, “There, an even three dozen!”
I finally stopped estimating at fifty!! So much fun!
(Bob likes to point out that the first wildflower we found on this hike was the Dandelion, part of the Aster family.) Next up after the photo above was the Wood Poppy.
There were crowds of them. It the plants had been level we would have called it a meadow! They grew down the hillside in wondrous glory.
Often our hunting is in half sun, half shade. The large white flower is Trillium. Not exactly certain what sort. Flower stalk with multiple flowers up and left of that is Toothwort. Then yellow is another Poppy. Center lower leaves will be either Solomon’s seal or False Solomon’s seal when it blooms. At the very top of the frame are more Trillium, not blooming yet. Just below those leaves are more Toothwort. At their base is more Anemone. Ah! Spring 🙂
After driving to Texas last year to see Blue Bonnets, it was such fun to find Bluebells growing in our native Ohio! I’ve had several friends tell me they have never seen these. They are a perennial “native that prefer to grow in wet, shade, in clearings and at edges of deciduous woods.” Gee, Bob, perhaps we should try to plant some if we can find them at the garden store? Here they are from above as the trail ascended again.
What must the cross, death and resurrection have been for Jesus, my Lord? Walking through land He never knew. Knowing He was led along in obedience by the Spirit. I do not want you to think I take Good Friday lightly. His walk to Calvary was more than I can even comprehend. He found beauty in redeeming our souls. His resurrection was more glorious for eternity than any spring wild flowers. I am humbled.