The Spring Ephemerals, part 2

Everything is different this spring. So many more people are out enjoying the trails, which is great but for two things: overuse and poor (or no) social distancing. For these reasons I might not be going out often, but I can still blog with old pictures.

Floodplains along the river are overflowing with Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica; Boraginaceae). Usually colored a pure, intense blue (I call it borage blue), the color can be lighter, or a pale violet, or all pink, or pure white.



Mixed in with these, and also found upslope in slightly drier soils, you can see wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata; Polemoniaceae).

Moss phlox (P. subulata) might be blooming by now. If not, it will within a week or so. Look for it sprawling over rocks; the plants stand only a few inches tall. The flowers are almost identical to those of wild blue phlox, but the plants’ growth habits are completely different.

8 thoughts on “The Spring Ephemerals, part 2

  1. I was thinking to go down to the Carderock/Cabin John area this week, but your description of the crowded pathways discourages me from trying this (I’m in the high risk category!)

    I wonder if places like Hughes Hollow and Sycamore Landing might be less crowded.

    I’m anxious to use my new macro lens!!!

    • Hi, Tony – I have no idea how crowded those places might be. I was thinking of trying Snyder’s Landing myself. I only just heard about Hughes Hollow a week ago, and I don’t even know where it is.
      What macro lens did you get?

  2. Hi. I’ve been birding in this area since the late 50’s, and for birders, Hughes Hollow is a well-known spot. It is out River Road past Violette’s Lock and Riley’s Lock, till you get to Hughes Road. You take a LEFT, not right, and couple of hundred yards on, there is a parking area. Sometimes there is hunting, or dog training going on there. There are a couple of impoundments there, one pretty much overgrown. There are a number of aquatic plants growing there. Sycamore Landing is a few hundred yards beyond where you turn off River Road to Hughes Road – I.e. continue on River Road. I didn’t say that very well, did I!

    I got the Nikkor 105 macro for my D500 camera. I’ve spent the last year using my 200-500 mostly for birds, but also for insects and some plants. Now I’m trying to learn the 105.

    Hopefully this mess we are all in will not last too long, but I wouldn’t count on it.

    Keep safe and well.

      • Since writing that, I went to get the mail, and noticed that everyone in town is out and about as if nothing is going on. Even the salons are open! It was disturbing. It is no wonder that there are move people diagnosed with the virus in Santa Clara County than anywhere else in California. There are too many entitled people over there. At least people are a bit more responsible over here, just about fifteen miles away.

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