It’s Wildflower Weekend
Foranyone wanting to see a wide variety of spring ephemeral wildflowers, I highly recommend taking the “Trillium Walk” at Thompson Wildlife Management Area (WMA), near Linden. Hosted by the Piedmont chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society. The walk includes not only what are estimated to be millions of trillium, but also ladyslippers, jack-in-the-pulpit, rue anemone, wild geranium and other spring ephemerals (it was held for May 1 this year). VNPS is hosting other wildflower events in the area, including some that feature Virginia bluebells.
Another great opportunity to see spring ephemeral wildflowers is the “Wonders of the Mill Prong” walk in Shenandoah National Park, guided by VNPS volunteers. Part of the park’s annual Wildflower Weekend, May 14-15, the walk will feature many of the same wildflowers as Thompson WMA and perhaps a few species that start blooming in mid-May. One of the bonuses of these walks is also seeing wildlife busy with their own reproduction, especially birds that have migrated into these preserves to breed, including a host of warblers. See the VNPS (vnps.org/events) and SNP (tinyurl.com/ wi-snpwalk) calendars, and check with other public and private preserves in your area, for more information on wildflower-viewing opportunities.