Searching for Wildflowers

A friend of ours recently told us about a place where Virginia bluebells are bountiful and that they were coming into their peak season.  Nina and I had a lot going on at the time and so it was several days before we were able to drive to the park.  The park is in a beautiful location and right next to the Shenandoah River and we started down the Bluebell Trail.

We immediately began to see a number of lovely wildflowers and were especially attracted to some delicate pink ones, Spring beauty (Clatonia virginica).

We saw some lovely violets and some spiderwort...


...and a few interesting paw paw trees.

It wasn't long, however, before we started to see some bluebells--a few scattered ones at first and then in bunches.  We soon realized that there were great expanses of bluebells on either side of the path.  Unfortunately, though, it looked like we were just a few days too late as we could tell that they were already past peak.  Yet they were very lovely and we made a mental note to visit the site a week earlier next year!

The following week we set out for another trail that were told about.  This time it to a place where trillium are said to be abundant and in bloom about this time of the year.  Although we had some general directions to the trail, we realized that we were not exactly sure which way to go.  We followed the road that we were told to take and found a couple of parking areas, but not much in the way of signs telling us we were in the right (or wrong) place.  We saw a man in the parking lot, getting ready to hunt for mushrooms, but he did not seem to know any more about where the trillium were than we did.After studying the road map for a bit, we determined that the two lots we had discovered were the only options available without retracing our path and driving another half hour or so.  Not being in the mood for that, we somewhat randomly picked one of the parking areas and headed up a path.

Seeing that the place where we parked was called the Thompson Lake Parking Lot, it did not surprise us too much that we quickly found ourselves next to a lake.  In fact, as far as we could tell, the trail pretty much made a circle around the lake.


There were lots of wildflowers to be seen on the trail.  Pretty pink wild geraniums, lesser stitchwort, and some dainty fleabane.

We saw two types of wild strawberry--yellow (barren) and white (common)...

...and two types of mustard--white (garlic mustard) and yellow (black mustard)...

Nina particularly seemed to enjoy the mustard plants.



Everything was very lovely, we even saw a pair of mating dragonflies!



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