Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Trip Report: What's Blooming at Carderock

Scott's Run view from Carderock
view of
Scott's Run by Carly & Art
On Saturday we led a wildflowers and wild edibles walk at Carderock. We had a beautiful sunny day, but it was chilly -- so we warmed up beforehand with a little spicebush tea. Then we spent a couple of hours stopping along the Billy Goat C trail to look at what's coming up.

We picked Carderock for a walk on the early side of spring wildflower season because the Potomac runs pretty much west-east there. At Carderock, the banks along the river face south -- giving them some extra sun exposure and warmth. Flowers come up noticeably earlier there.

Even within the Billy Goat C trail, there were noticeable differences -- the section to the east of where we parked was further along than the section to the west. In contrast, if you went over to Scott's Run, directly across the Potomac, the north-facing banks there won't have some of these flowers for a week or two yet.

Here's what we saw:

Dutchmans breeches by Carly & Art
Virginia bluebells
Cut-leaf toothwort
Golden ragwort (just starting)
Spring beauty
Skunk cabbage
Wild blue phlox (just starting)

Sending up leaves
Wild ramps/leeks (see our post on the flowers)
Early meadow rue
Trout lily (we saw some blooming after the walk!)
Stinging nettles
May apples

With buds
Pawpaw (see our post on the fruit)

And some invasive species
Garlic mustard is coming up
Lesser celandine is starting to flower
Bush honeysuckle is leafing out, before most native shrubs

It was an added treat for us to meet some Natural Capital readers! Carly and Art took lots more pictures, which you can see here. You can sign up for one of our upcoming walks here.

May apple emerging by Carly & Art
wild ramp
Wild ramp (from our yard) by Carly & Art