Friday it was in the 80s and today it was in the low 60s, just a lovely sunny day for a walk in the woods. For the two-hour walk, we took Tuckahoe Trail and the Creekside Walk. There were 12 guests on the two-hour walk and 14 guests on the one-hour walk, a nice-size group for both walks. The 1one-hour group went along Blockston Branch and were delighted to spot the buds of a Virginia bluebell just about ready the bloom. Al and Mary Jo led this group.
Our theme today was searching for pink and purple blooms, and we found these colors as well as some yellow buds on the sassafras and spicebush. The beech and sweetgum tips were swelling and will show blooms and leaves soon. Heading to the Tuckahoe Trail, we passed the pinxterbloom azalea with pink buds and some barely visible pink buds on the blueberry. Going farther, we passed partridge berry leaves with red berries peeking through the oak leaves in many places. We saw a few leaves of wintergreen, with its white stripe, and many cranefly orchid leaves with their maroon color on the back. A patch by the spicebush bridge has a few stalks that were probably blooms left from last year. Many were interested in its bloom time in the middle of summer. I suggested they consult a website to see what the blooms look like. The spicebushes were lovely at this spot, and several buds had opened, showing the delicate lacy blooms. Many skunk cabbages were showing their green leaves along this stream.
At the next bridge, we were able to spot several purple skunk cabbage blooms among all the green leaves (late bloomers?). We were not successful in finding any bloodroot or spring beauty along this trail. We did pass many mountain laurel bushes with buds, and it looks like we are in for a good year of blooms from these and the azalea, shadbush, and dogwood.
Continuing back on the Creekside Walk, one lucky guest spotted the first spring beauty and the cameras came out again. In a few more feet we found about a dozen more blooms. We were so excited and one guest commented about how much fun it was to spot these solitary blooms in the woods at Adkins. These spring beauties were in a patch by the mound formed by a tree that had gone over years ago and left the rich soil which acts like a plant nursery. It is across from a 3 trunked tulip tree. Further along I pointed out the best vantage point for spotting a fringe tree in April using another downed tree as the arrow. Someone asked about the small trees along the trail. We then felt the soft leaf tips that look and feel like a cat’s paw. These are paw paw trees.
The large beech tree at the turn in the trail gave us a breathtaking view of Tuckahoe Creek, which is over its banks at the moment from recent rains. This older beech tree has leaf buds ready to open, and we are looking forward to seeing some of the blooms next month.
We returned to the lunch meeting room, which now has lovely reusable green tablecloths donated by Pat B (thank you). Mickey and others had obtained the cloths, and we will rotate the laundry and be green and not need the others. Buds were in the vases, and pink and purple napkins and placements made the room a colorful place to visit and have our delicious lunch. Many in attendance are returning guests, but the walks still bring in a few new people who often become new members. We talked about all the wonderful purple nutrients in the recipes and why they are so good for us. The new Soup ‘n Walk cookbooks are now out, so guests can buy them and promote even more healthy eating and sharing.
Thanks to all our volunteers for this Soup ‘n Walk: Pat B., Mickey B., Michele W., Mary J. K., Al M., Shirley B., and Zaida W., who also helped and brought the cherry pies. Thanks to the staff: Cathy E., Ginna T., Lynda T., Allison Y., and all the rest who helped to make this a successful event.