Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wildflower Walk

My son, Tim and I have been doing various hikes during the mornings when he's home from school.  He and I have been enjoying it.  Our favorite activity is to search out all the different wildflowers on our trek.
Virginia Bluebell at O'Neil Woods
This Spring we have noticed a bounty of wildflowers.  Tim's favorite is the Jack-in-the-Pulpit.  While at Nature Realm, we found about thirty to fifty Pulpit plants on the Seneca trail.  Tim favorite pastime is to lift the Pulpit or hood to locate the "Jack."  It's interesting how the "Jack" or spadix varies from green to dark brown.  We do have to be careful, Jack-in-the-Pulpit has three leaves which are trifoliate and can be confused with poison ivy.
A Cut-leaved Toothwort near Yellow Creek

When walking in O'Neil Woods on the Deer Run trail we have found a plethora of wildflowers.  The trail skims Yellow Creek which is a tributary to the Cuyahoga river.   The moist woodland floor is a suitable environment for wildflowers.  We've seen numerous Virginia Bluebells, Cut-leaved Toothwarts, Common Blue Violets, Downy Yellow Violets and Yellow Trout Lilies.  I have to admit that the Yellow Trout Lily is my current favorite wildflower.  It's petals are such a charming shade of yellow and are drawn back.  An additional identification is the lily's green leaves mottled with brown.  

Another stomping ground for Tim and I is Silver Creek Metro Park.  We love to ramble through Pheasant Run Trail since it loops through the woods.  There are a couple of nice ponds and fields to walk by which promote the growth of wildflowers.  I was amazed at how many wild strawberry plants we found.  We also saw countless Mayapples.  The plant looks somewhat prehistoric but has a beautiful lone flower found at the axil of two leaves.  Tim and I hunt for the Mayapple plants that have white flowers on them.

The last impressive wildflower that Tim and I saw was the Large-flowered Trillium at Nature Realm.  Seeing this flower is a real treat.  It is the official wildflower of Ohio and there are few plants around.  If you see a Painted Trillium in the woods (I haven't yet), you are witnessing a plant with an uncertain future.  So when you walk through the woods, contemplate but don't tamper with nature.

I hope I have inspired you to take a stroll through the forest.  I know Tim and I will be soon.  Remember to stop, listen and look for the wildflowers.  You will be impressed by their understated beauty.

1 comment:

  1. Did you pick up any native Ohio wildflowers at the Crown Point sale last week?