Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Flame Azaleas and Big Meadows

We decided to go looking for Rhododendron calendulaceum (Flame Azaleas) on Sunday after having gotten a tip on where we could find them along Skyline Drive.  We successfully found two bushes of slightly different colors.  I had never seen them before and I have to say, they are pretty spectacular.

After find the Flame Azaleas, we explored Big Meadows and the Rapidan Fire Road for a couple of hours.  The meadow itself had violets, Houstonia cerulea (Bluets), and Silene virginica (wild pinks).  After crossing the meadow, we entered the woods and headed down the Rapidan Fire Road.  At that elevation, there were a few remaining Trillium grandiflorum.  Most of them were gone, however, making way for the Pedicularis canadensis (Wood Betony), which was everywhere. 

It was clear, but windy and cold.  We did not want to get back home too late, so before long, we returned to the car and made our way out of the park.  On the way home, we stopped at a pick-your-own strawberries farm right on the highway.  I look forward to the first spring strawberries all winter and these did not disappoint, particularly when made into strawberry-almond tart.

Pictures (click to enlarge):
R. calendulaceum (Flame azaleas)

 R. calendulaceum (Flame azaleas)

Click to enlarge the photo to see the turkey hiding just inside the woods.

Big Meadows

Silene caroliniana (Wild Pinks)

Pedicularis canadensis (Wood Betony/Lousewort)

Fragaria vesca (Wood Strawberry)

Old Rag in the distance from Big Meadows.

Old Rag and Robertson Mountain from Skyline Drive.

No comments:

Post a Comment