April 18 the Guiden Walk, by Julianna Pax, Volunteer

What a beautiful day in the high seventies with bright sunshine. Thanks to Michele Wade’s Red Hat Society, and another couple that received a year’s membership as a present from their daughter, we had about ten people on the tour. Zaida Wing was there with her camera and notebook soaking up information.

The redbud tree had lots of purple blooms for our ladies and they took a group picture in front with their purple outfits. Our sassafras trees by the south meadow are almost in full golden bloom. The sweetgum blossoms close by are ready to open. In the forest we saw spring beauty blooms everywhere. There were some mayapples with buds showing and dogwood blossoms opening just a little. Some small blueberry bushes had blossoms just opening. Michele Wade was first to spot a black snake sunning itself and we quietly walked past it.

The shadbush is about finished and we did find one bloodroot that had gone to seed on the Creekside trail and spotted some wild geranium leaves but no blooms yet. There were pawpaw blooms here and along Blockston Branch and even one zebra swallowtail butterfly showed up. We also saw a spicebush swallowtail, and heard lots of birds that Margie Steffens our birder was able to identify. Past the large beech tree on the Tuckahoe and further down the trail a second beech tree had dropped some beech blossoms on the trail. What a treat! They fascinate me. We could not have seen them high up in the tree. Many admired our fallen clump of trees with the vernal pool at the base and the many mayapple and spring beauty plants on the uprooted mound of roots and ground. We looked closely at the top of an oak tree from the fallen clump and saw the male catkins and leaves starting to appear. The top of the downed tree is visible right by the trail.

Many took pictures all along our walk. Several Turk’s Cap lily plants are now visible from the trail. I was also surprised and delighted to find some bellwort in bloom on the Blockston Branch trail. Virginia bluebells are in full bloom and the golden ragwort are starting to open along the creek. Some ferns are showing too. It is nice to feel that our guided walks have now been able to interest another group of people in the beauty of the arboretum. Some had not been here before.

There are still a few reservations available for the Soup & Walk next Saturday.

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