Soup ‘n Walk, April 23, 2011

Report by Julianna Pax

It started out today in the 60s with rain in the forecast, and as I drove in the rain to Adkins I thought we might need our backup program, but by 10 a.m. it was just a drizzle. As we started walking the rain stopped and the overcast clouds just made the colors of the flowers stand out. We were searching for the fleeting pink and yellow ephemerals and found them in abundance.

Our Tuckahoe Trail to the Creekside Path brought us past sassafras trees at the entrance to the woods. We saw lots of dogwood and some pinxterbloom azaleas along the way. The mayapples and pink ladyslippers were starting to bloom. Many spring beauty were still in bloom, although they were shy about opening up on this cloudy day. We did see two or three bloodroot leaves but no blossoms or seeds. The older beech trees still have blossoms.

On the Creekside Path and Upland Trail were many more mayapples and some Solomon’s seal just barely starting to show blooms. On the Upland Trail, we found lots of bluets, pussytoes, more ladyslippers, and rattlesnake weed just starting to bloom. The pawpaw patch had a good supply of blooms, some green and some already turning purple.

Next we continued on the Blockston Branch trail and found yellow golden groundsel, Virginia bluebells, jack-in-the pulpits, and some lovely bellwort in several thin patches. In the flood plain we noticed the netted chain fern and maybe some Turk’s xap lilies coming up where we had not seen them before. There were also some cinnamon fern and lady fern along this trail. All in all, we thought the day in the woods presented us with quite a variety of ephemerals, shrubs, and tree blooms. The dogwood with their white blooms were all around us, often at a distance, so the effect was quite lacy and most cheerful. Someone mentioned that they had often walked the trails but noticed so much more when a guide was pointing out things.

In the dining room there were more native blossoms in the vases, and the tables were set and the buffet invited us, thanks to Mickey, Nancy, Michele, Pat, Lynn, and others. Mary Jo led the one-hour walk, and I led the two-hour walk. We were ably assisted by Zaida, Shirley, and Norma Jean. There were 28 guests present and two who did not come due to the rain. The projector was set up with a virtual tour, but everyone elected to go for the walks. Many commented on what a wonderful time they had. Some were new to the area and were excited to know that this wonderful place existed. Pat said there were two new members signed up. Most of the rest were already members. Thanks to everyone who helps to make this a success.


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