Monday, April 27, 2009

April, please don't end!

April has to be my favorite month of the year, followed by October. I always hate to see it end, knowing I have to wait another 12 months before I can enjoy it again! That is why I try to get out and enjoy as much of it as I can. Yesterday Kenny and I went to the Smokies to see what was in bloom. A lot of my old favorites had already bloomed and were gone. The Bishop's Cap; Foamflower; Sweet White, Canada, and Long-spur violets seemed to be the dominant flowers. The most exciting flower we saw was Painted Trillium! There was a moss-covered boulder that had several plants growing on it. The photographers were going nuts taking pictures, kind of like wildflower paparazzi! :)

There were huge patches of Dwarf Crested Iris growing along the trail, some of the biggest I've ever seen.

There were a lot of people hiking and it seemed we talked to most of them. :) As we were talking to one man, his wife came back down the trail from photographing a waterfall. She heard me talking about wildflowers and my website and asked excitedly, "What is your name?!" When I told her, she exclaimed, "I'm Susan, I'm the person who wrote you asking about where to find the Yellow Lady Slipper Orchids!" We had corresponded a couple of times last week. What a small world! This time of the year I get a lot of e-mails from people who want to know about wildflowers, they often send picture files for me to identify. It was fun to get to meet one of my "e-friends" in person!

Today I noticed the Common Milkweed is coming up in my garden. The Monarch butterfly that I saw sipping nectar from the Phlox flowers last week must have laid her eggs on the milkweed, I found several on the plants. It will be fun to watch the caterpillars hatch and grow as they eat the leaves. I started doing that back in 1986 when my son was in kindergarten. Another exciting event in my garden was the emergence of the baby Carolina wrens that are nesting in an old bird house. I enjoyed seeing them stick their heads out looking for mom while she was out hunting for insects!