Dogwood Report

It’s a beautiful day in the mountains, unless you have seasonal allergies. I think the pollen is peaking along with a lot of other things as we enter the beginning of high spring. The redbuds are still in full bloom, and the crab apples are getting ready to bloom. The woods is greening up, with the low bush blueberry beginning to cut the brown of the dead leaves between the trees.

The planned wildflower walk yesterday was a rainout, but I expect that they are starting to come, depending on the elevation and exposure. The rest of the month should see a wonderful succession of wildflowers, changing every few days – from Dutchman’s Breeches and Trout Lily through the trilliums, and finally ending with the Showy Orchis. It’s simple enough. The spring ephemerals bloom early, before the leaves are fully on the trees, because they need the sun. They don’t tolerate full shade. So the show moves along with the season. If you don’t know where to start, the Songbird Trail at Clark’s Lake is usually good. Closer to Blue Ridge and Blairsville, Brasstown Bald and the Georgia Mountain Research Center both have trails. Along the river or the creeks should be especially good, and coves are also usually good. In Blue Ridge proper, you could try the Mineral Springs Walking Trail, down past the license branch on Industrial Boulevard/Mineral Springs Road.

The dogwoods are coming faster than I expected. There are a few in full bloom, and I think there will be quite a few more this weekend, if the forecast holds. So … my fearless prediction is the next two weeks will see the peak. This weekend, pretty good. Next weekend, probably best. Three weekends from today, I expect there will be some remaining in bloom, but most will have passed their prime. If we get a really heavy rain, it will hasten the end.

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