Wildflowers - 10 April

When Dayna and I left the house this morning, the plan was to go to an out of the way spot on Rogers Creek and catch and photograph a few fish. We did end up doing that – and I’ll cover that in a separate post tonight or tomorrow – but we found so many wildflowers that it’s going to take a looooong post just to cover them.

Reaching the end of M Highway, we continued on the dirt portion of the road in the direction of Waymeyer access. But before we had gone a half mile, I already had Dayna stopping the truck so I could photograph flowers. The first thing I found was a Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) at the base of a wooded slope studded with limestone outcroppings.

From there, the road goes over a low rise and across a small stream that’s dry most of the year, but had a small amount of water flowing today. There is a patch of open timber here with rich soil deposited by the creek and we found Miami Mist (Phacelia purshii,)

some Common White or Striped Violets (Viola striata)

and Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica.)

The road then goes up and past a seep that keeps the hillside wet most of the year. Here the dominant plant was Wild Hyacinth (Camassia scilloides,)

but we also found Squaw Weed (Senecio aurues,)

False Garlic (Nothoscordum bivalve,)

Hispid Buttercup (Ranunculus hispidus)

and, on the other side of the road and on top of a bluff, Pawpaw (Asimina triloba.)

The road was wet here and covered with Pipevine Swallowtails (Battus philenor) and some skippers, which I did not photograph.

Dropping off the hill, the road passes between an old river bed slough on the right and a steep bluff on the left. This spot is usually a “honey hole” this time of year and today was no exception. We found Fernleaf Phacelia (Phacelia bipinnatifida,) a plant I was not familiar with,

Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium reptans,)

Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia,)

Purple Wake Robin (Trillium recurvatum) – also called Prairie Trillium or Bloody Butcher –

and some Yellow Violets (Viola pensylvanica.)

Just before the road to Waymeyer turns off, we found a Missouri Gooseberry (ribes missouriense.)

This location is at the periphery of an old house site, so this could easily be a cultivated variety left behind when the site was abandoned after the park was established back in the 60s.

Across the small stream running from Sandfield Hollow is a low rise, the beginning of a ridge, with thickly scattered limestone rock and absolutely covered with Dwarf Larkspur (Delphinium tricorne.) Most were the purple variety, but white was also well represented.

Farther on, at the foot of the same ridge, is an area with large limestone boulders, rich soil and deep shade. Here was a nice group of Celandine Poppies (Stylophorum-diphyllum.)

The road continues to the old Pyles farm which the park maintains as a series of hayfields and we found Box Elder (Acer negundo) with seeds in the edge of one of these fields.

Still on the Pyles tract and just before entering Pin Oak campground, are several Ohio Buckeye trees(Aesculus glabra.)

The road ends at Pin Oak and we headed back to Rogers Creek to give the fish a try. But on the creek bank, I found one last item that fits with this post.

What is it? I’m not sure. My best guess is Carolina Buckthorn (Rhamnus caroliniana) but if it is, it’s blooming a month or so earlier than you would expect. But the leaves and flowers seem to match as does the habitat, so unless I find out otherwise…

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