And Now for the Star of the Wildflower Show –
Location: Lost Garden Parking Lot;
The MacDonald Family Trail (Red) to the Sangamon River overlook
A few trout lilies remained, although their mottled leaves dominated the floor. The Dutchmen’s Breeches (in the Poppy family) have also faded.
Red Trillium are fully opened. Mayapple already sport waxy discs at the bifurcation. With warm temperatures predicted this week, the Jacks in the Pulpit will be in full riot. Bluebells (a member of the Borage family), Purple and Pink Phlox, and Pink Wild Geranium splash pastels amidst the verdant forest floor. Blue-eyed Mary, a snapdragon, line the Blue/Red trail.
But this year, like last year, the Shooting Star stole the show. On Friday, April 14, only two early blooms were counted. On early afternoon Saturday, while the rain still glistened on the stalk, the bloom was on. It was a true Georgia O’Keefe moment. By Sunday afternoon, the slope from Pussy Toe Hill / Lesser Promontory Slope on the Red Trail was engulfed in Shooting Stars. By Monday, the wind over the course of two days was beginning to take its toll on the delicate blooms. It’s a wonder the single stalk that seems to shoot from the earth can support the sheer weight of so many full blooms. A 15 mile per hour gusty wind shook the blooming chandeliers. At the height of this tall stalk bursts forth, out and down a cascade of flowers – each one, seeming to erupt. By Tuesday, the peak of Shooting Stars was a past event. Just have to wait another 52 weeks for the next show.
After this wildflower interruption, it will be time to return to eBird. It will be time to look up for the birds, while keeping an eye on the trail and road ahead.