Finally Hiked the Billy Goat Trail, Section A

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Clitoria mariana (butterfly pea, Atlantic pigeonwings); Fabaceae

I’ve written before that I stay away from the Billy Goat A trail – haven’t been there in years, actually – mostly because it’s overused, and I like solitude in the wilderness, but also because wildflowers generally don’t grow well where there’s lots of foot traffic. So what’s the point?

Nonetheless a friend convinced me to give it a go. By 9 o’clock last Friday morning when we parked near Old Anglers Inn, the temperature was already near 90º F, and the humidity was in the 90s as well. It was brutal but hey, at least it wasn’t crowded.

Anyway I schlepped the camera along, just in case, but not the tripod (didn’t want to bore my friend to tears). We saw some expected flowers – two species of Eupatorium, some wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia) just starting to open. And we saw some unexpected: a good amount of bushy St. Johnswort (Hypericum prolificum), a few Atlantic pigeonwings (Clitoria mariana), a magnificent specimen of flowering spurge (Euphorbia corollata), some seedbox (Ludwigia alternifolia), and a single clump of purple-headed sneezeweed (Helenium flexuosum).

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Helenium flexuosum (purple-headed sneezeweed); Asteraceae

And then we found two species that I’d never seen before. But of course I was just taking snapshots, and a breeze was blowing (excuses, excuses), so my pictures suck.

By the time this piece autoposts Monday morning I expect to be back on Billy Goat A, with full camera kit on my back, trying to get good photos for new blog entries in the next few days.

 

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