Feral Bends Forest Farm Leaf Litter Phenology Journal

A spring walk through a riot of wildflowers …

Althea and I spent several hours yesterday morning stomping around Feral Bends Forest Farm to see what’s happening in the understory. Long story short: It’s stunning. Here are a few photos.

There are large white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) everywhere, and some are becoming pink as they age.
Althea with a large white trillium.
Parts of the woods are carpeted in mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) and they’re blooming.
Dwarf Larkspur (Delphinium tricorne)
Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)
Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)


Fire pink (Silene virginica)
I’m finding fire pink (Silene virginica) in multiple locations. It really pops.
Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)
Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata) is everywhere. I never get tired of seeing it.
Woodland Stonecrop (Sedum ternatum)
Woodland Stonecrop (Sedum ternatum)
Rattlesnakeweed (Hieracium venosum)

Inspired by the Athens Conservatory’s Bluebell Preserve along the bikeway, Laura-Sue and I planted some Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) above the creek area where we plan to locate a bench. It’s already a location with a lot of trillium and other wildflowers.

I love the way beech trees cling to the dry, sandy soil on the southwestern slope of the ridge. Feral Bends was heavily logged a few decades ago and they left behind most of the beech. At first

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, I saw that as a bad thing, but I’ve grown to love beech trees …


A morel shrine that we’ve created long the ridge. Laura-Sue is working on a scheme to create altars to forest deities throughout Feral Bends.
During my walk, I found another specimen of the crane-fly orchid (Tipularia discolor). It doesn’t flower till late summer.
And a reminder that nature is metal. Not sure who this squirrel pissed off, but whatever it was basically ate his face and left the rest to rot. He’ll make good fertilizer for the mayapple and wildflowers surrounding him.