Guided Walk-5/2, by Bev Gemmill, volunteer

Saturday was not the best day, it was cloudy and overcast, threatening rain at any minute. But it was a great tour. What made it great was the 5 interested visitors from the Simplicity Circle from Silver Springs.

Jennifer DeMooy assisted with this tour and she did a terrific job. We did spring ephemerals again. They are here for such a short time, and each week there are new plants blooming. Juliana spoke glowingly about the sassafras so I was hopeful we would still be able to admire them, but instead we saw the petite green mitten-like leaves.

Thankfully, my favorite flower, spring beauty, is still blooming. We talked about the pink pollen on the stamens and the bee lines that leads to nectar.

The lady slippers near the research plot are blooming , there were many and  fully pink.

There were many questions as we described the research. Jennifer had heard the University of Maryland professor speak and she was very helpful as we answered questions.  Along the Creekside trail, Mayapples are blooming everywhere though they are starting to go past and there is deer damage.  Jack and the Pulpit is fully expanded and is always an interesting story to describe about its ability to change sex.  The wild geranium is blooming on both sides of the path and we talked about its seed pod that shoots out the seeds. We also saw a blood root leaf without flower or seed. We suggested an ant cut the seed off and took it to its nest and fed the eliasome to its young. The paw paw were blooming everywhere; we will have a great crop this fall if all goes well. Dirr may think the bloom is lurid but we all agreed they were beautiful. The last walk I did, the golden groundsel (ragwort) was not blooming but now, it brightens up the area below the first bridge like a million candles.

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