Long Walk Through the Park

Today was a long walk day. Twelve of the 22 kilometers passed through the Park. Three of these twelve kilometers traveled the red and blue trails accessed via the Lost Garden Trailhead and now the McDonald Family Trail. IMG_3744The plank boardwalk passage over the previous mud barrier allows discovery of this natural bog. Continuing upward on the red trail, the trail eventually opens to a promontory over the Sangamon River. Following the crest of the hill south along the ridge and then carefully down the slope, Pussy Toes, Spring Beauties, Trout Lilies, Dutchmen Breeches, Bellwort,

BellWort

BellWort

Phlox and Bluebells provide a spectacular backdrop. The Shooting Stars have not yet bloomed in force.

Slopes of the lesser promontory over the Sangamon River. Shooting Stars are poised, ready to burst into bloom. Last year, April 20 was the peak bloom. We may be about the same this year.

Slopes of the lesser promontory over the Sangamon River. Shooting Stars are poised, ready to burst into bloom. Last year, April 20 was the peak bloom. We may be about the same this year.

 

Shooting Star

Shooting Star

Only two Shooting Stars were noted open today.

Trout Lily and distinctive liver mottled leaves

Trout Lily and distinctive liver mottled leaves

Last years peak Shooting Star bloom occurred around April 20th. This year is on par with last. The trails are too delightful to take note of the birds above. The wildflowers are putting on quite a show. Following the red trail northward, a second promontory, taller than the first, now has a dedicated bench.

Just installed today, April 14, 2017. Wayland's overlook up the trail from Pussy Toe Hill.

Just installed today, April 14, 2017. Wayland’s overlook up the trail from Pussy Toe Hill.

Wayland Eheart’s favorite view. “Wayland’s Spot.” This week, Wayland’s view will offer an abundance of flowers – especially Shooting Stars.

Continuing North on the Red trail until it crosses with the Blue Trail back to the Trailhead, Blue-eyed Mary line this trail. They are in full bloom now.

Blue-eyed Mary (Red/Blue trail)

Blue-eyed Mary (Red/Blue trail)

Jack in the Pulpit

Jack in the Pulpit

Transformation into a Jack in the Pulpit

Transformation into a Jack in the Pulpit

Only one fully formed Jack in the Pulpit was identified. Several leaf heads are ready to curl and transform into “Jacks.”

By next week, the Jacks in the Pulpit will be plentiful. The Green Trail is the best trail for Jacks in the Pulpit.

May Apple are now bifurcating. Clumps of Wild Ginger and

Bloodroot

Bloodroot

Bloodroot compete for ground space.

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