Thursday, May 19, 2016

Spectacular Mid-Spring Wildflowers at Headwaters Park

Today I hiked at Headwaters Park at East Branch Reservoir in Geauga County, Ohio. This park is near the headwaters of the Cuyahoga River--by the way, pronounce it right: CUY-uh-HOG-uh--remember to "keep the HOG in CuyaHOGa." O yes, we pronounce "hog" around here something like /hawg/. We don't like people who say CUY-uh-HOE-guh or CUY-uh-guh (for God's sake!). The pronunciation is like a shibboleth (check out the etymology of that word). We detect outsiders by the pronunciation of this word.

This park is one of the best in the area for wildflowers. The spring wildflower season comes to an end when the leaf canopy closes up. This year the spring is developing later than usual, but the canopy is starting to close now. The early wildflowers are nearly gone. Today I saw lots of bloodroot foliage--but no blooms. I saw massive areas of gigantic skunk cabbage. I believe the jack-in-the-pulpit are still in bloom here, but I didn't see them from the trail. Still, this late in the season I saw about 10 species of wildflowers. I saw masses of wild geranium, blue violets, white violets, marsh marigold. I saw phlox, three types of violets, foam flower, false solomon's seal, and other flowers that I can't identify. Oddly, I didn't see any dogwood (about 10 miles north of Headwaters Park, at Girdled Road Reservation, I have seen hundreds of dogwoods in full bloom). Here are some photos from today's walk:

Great fields of violets!

Hiking, and being with the wildflowers, brings me great comfort during this time of political distress, when we have legitimate worries about America being taken over by a fascist political movement.

No comments: