Grindstone Scream

You know you're in a wondrous place when you simply step out of your car and you need not move because it's all around. "Hear that ? Canada Warbler ? ". We haven't even made it to the trail from the parking area, and we've had a dozen or more reason's to stop and look. "This is going to take forever!", says one... "that's what we're here for !", says another.

Our location for the wildflower hike was in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area at Grindstone Campground, on May 2nd.We walked a designated 1/2 mile wildflower loop trail, at far end of camping area, on the north facing slope of Mount Rogers.

We were just past the bloom of Dutchman's Breeches, the very tail end of Squirrel Corn and Trout Lily's. Purple and Painted Trillium were abundant and delicate, along with Jack in the Pulpits, the smallest I've seen. This is a beautiful meandering trail through a deciduous forest, rhododendron thickets, large rock outcroppings, and a swift moving stream that the trail crossed twice with bridges. The upper reaches of the trail were moist where we found the largest abundance of plants. The excitement of our finds escalated with a "SCREAM!" at the discovery of a plant that one participant had been wanting to see. It was a rather inconspicuous plant amongst it's similar looking relatives, the Solomon's Seal, and Yellow Mandarin's . There were the delicate pink bells hanging beneath alternate leaves of the Rosy Twisted Stalk. The scream came, then the drop down to get a quick close look, resulted in getting stuck amongst rocks in an awkward position that she needed help out of ! Three of us sat a while to take it in.

We spent 2 hours covering 1/2 mile, could have spent much longer. All plants were not exactly identified, but we did our best, being the novices that we all are ! A few of us are left with a continuing study, via "google" and sharing findings near our homes of similar specimens, of the proper identification of the "Ground Cedar" and the " Ground Pine" .We intend on returning to the site to see if we can figure it out ! Enjoying the mystery!

The following is a list that was compiled while walking:
Canada Mayflower, Wild strawberry, Bluets, Solomon Seal, False Solomon Seal, Partridge Berry, Jack in the Pulpit, Sweet White Violet, Whirled Loosestrife, Purple Trillium, Painted Trillum, Groung Cedar, Ground Pine, Downy Yellow Violet, Wood Anemone, Foam Flower, False Hellebore, Large Flowered Bellwort, Blue Cohosh, Trout Lily, White Wake Robin, Squirrel corn, Mayapple, Spring Beauty, Mountain Lettuce, Rosy Twisted Stalk

-Jane Floyd