I’m continuing this week to talk about my experience at the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. There will be four posts in all so I hope you enjoy it!
Here are the pictures that I took during the week.
Here is the list of flora and fauna that we saw this year.
Our first hike was a fern walk along the Little River Trail. We hoped to see a variety of the park’s 25 more common ferns and fern allies. Our leader was Keith Bowman. I think now I can recognize rattlesnake fern and New York fern in the while. We also saw a rare fern called the Daisy Leafed Moonwort.
In the afternoon we did a Wildflower Photography Motorcade. We traveled with authors Jack Carman (Wildflowers of Tennessee) and Robert Hutson (Great Smoky Mountain Wildflowers: When and Where to Find Them) to nearby wildflower locations to learn techniques for photographing wildflowers. We met at Sugarlands Visitor Center and then moved to the Chimneys Picnic area where we walked on the nature trail. Then we drove to a pulloff that used to be the Old Buckeye Trail (big parking area on left before the first tunnel). This was the third time with these leaders and we love attending sessions with them!
In the evening we met up with friends (Dan and Sherrie, Neal and Cindy, Steve and Jane, and Sam) for dinner at Blaine’s. It was a nice restaurant. After dinner we attended the evening program on Mushrooms. I liked the photos he showed but he went into a little more depth that I was able to listen to after a day of hiking.
Things I Learned:
- Leafy Liverwort grows on logs that lost its bark.
- Marginal Wood Fern is more leathery than Fancy fern but looks alike.
- Silvery Glade Fern grows in a wetter habitat; silver hairs on stem; tapers at bottom.
- Hay scented Fern – pinna has a lot of space between them and looks like a ladder, hairy
- Bracken Fern – can get fairly large, fronds form a triangle; single stipe into 3 fronds, can be poisonous.
- Cinnamon Fern – base of pinna has hairy armpits; brown means spores are gone and green means spores still there.
- Royal fern – 6-8 feet tall, separate fertile part of middle frond.
- Interrupted fern looks like cinnamon fern but has no fertile frond.
- Southern Lady Fern – might have a red stipe, dark scales on stipe, not evergreen, looks like Fancy Fern but has dark scales.
- Grape fern – like rattlesnake fern but fertile frond comes from below.
- Purple Cliff Break Fern – dark stipe, grows on limestone
- Cord moss – responds to moisture.
- Use shade (like an umbrella) over the flowers to take photos. The contrast is not so strong by doing this.
- Dutchman’s pipe will probably bloom in the second week of May.
Original photo by Pat Hensley