A Spring Wildflower Wonderland

A few days ago we thought we’d better take the hour and a half drive south from Columbus to Miller Sanctuary State Nature Preserve and Highlands Nature Sanctuary to check out the spring wildflowers before they bid us farewell for the year. Both destinations are located within an area commonly referred to as the Arc of Appalachia which is comprised of numerous beautiful undisturbed natural areas no matter what the time of year you choose to visit. 

An area map showing the location of access points for the areas we explored.

Our first stop was the Miller Sanctuary which has about three miles of trails. Even though the trails are not long one should allow plenty of time as the number of wildflowers is truly amazing and it will take time if one wants to adequately appreciate them.

Remember: you can click on the images should you desire a better view.

Golden Ragwort, common throughout Ohio, was one of the first wildflowers to greet us as we started down the trail.

.

When one thinks of the Large Flowered Trillium one usually thinks of a white flower but the images below show the change in color as the bloom ages.

***

***

***

***

.

In a very small area one can see a variety of wildflowers.

Blue phlox, rue-anemone, trillium.

.

A closer look reveals the delicate beauty of Blue Phlox.

Blue Phlox or Wild Sweet William.

.

The Rue-anemone blossoms were hard to ignore.

Rue-anemone, (Donna).

From another angle.

.

Fiddleheads grace the bank of the Rocky Fork River.

.

A little further on there was another nice grouping.

Virginia Bluebells, Large Flowered Trillium, and Miterwort.

.

The Miterwort flower is so small that from a distance it doesn’t even appear to be a flower but if one takes a closer look  .   .   .

Miterwort or Bishop’s Cap.

.   .   . and closer still, (Donna).

.

While certainly not uncommon throughout Ohio, Virginia Bluebells were also present in the sanctuary.

Virginia Bluebells.

 .

Redbuds accent the Rocky Fork landscape.

.

The large boulders and rocky cliffs provided an excellent habitat for Wild Columbine.

Wild Columbine, (Donna).

***

.

A real treat were the Shooting Stars, a flower we don’t often see closer to home.

Shooting Star, (Donna).

***

.

May Apples carpet the forest floor but we were a bit early to see their flowers.

.

We were greeted by more wildflowers as we continued along the trail.

Very tiny Bluets

Goldenseal, (Donna).

Emerging Squawroot. A native perennial, non-photosynthesizing parasitic plant that grows from the roots of mostly oak and beech trees, (Donna).

Large-Flowered Bellwort, (Donna).

.

The sanctuary contain a sizable stand of large Tulip trees.

.

Canada Violets, (Donna).

Blue Cohosh, the yellowish flower clusters ripen into berries that eventually turn deep blue.

Nestled under the plant’s leaves close to the ground one really needs to look to see the flower of the Wild Ginger plant, (Donna).

.

Trilliums line the bank of a small feeder stream.

.

Wild Geranium.

Star Chickweed.

Moving in a little closer, (Donna).

Jack In The Pulpit, (Donna).

.

The beauty of wildflowers complimented by the sight and sound of a small waterfall.

.

Just on the other side of the Rocky Fork River were trails contained in Highlands Nature Sanctuary. We choose to hike the spectacular Barrett Rim Trail. While many of the wildflowers were the same, the dramatic rocky outcropping brought an additional dimension.

One section of the trail runs between the river and these cliffs.

.

Certainly not the showiest the blossoms of the Pawpaw were just emerging.

Pawpaw.

.

As with Miller, Large Flowered Trillium lined the trail in many places.

.

The extensive groups of Celandine or Wood-Poppy were a real treat. A plant we didn’t see in the Miller Sanctuary.

We were surprised by their number.

Wood Poppy, a closer look.

.

It’s easy to see how the Rocky Fork River got its name.

.

Perhaps the most exciting discovery on our two-mile hike was one solitary flower that was new to us.

Wood Betony.

.

After five miles of hiking and countless wildflowers we returned home excited about the possibility of a return visit. For those interested in checking things out this year there have still been reports of wildflowers, some of which are “new arrivals” that we didn’t see, as I post this a week later.

Another view along the Rocky Fork River.

There are times when a walk in the woods provides more than it’s share of encouragement to again be in nature. Thanks for stopping by.

piecemealadventurer

Tales of the journeys of a piecemeal adventurer as a discontinuous narrative

Photos by Donna

Sharing My Passion of Birds and Wildlife

Londonsenior

The life of an elderly Londoner and her travels.

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Eloquent Images by Gary Hart

Insight, information, and inspiration for the inquisitive nature photographer

gordoneaglesham

The Wildlife in Nature

Through Open Lens

Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography

My Best Short Nature Poems

Ellen Grace Olinger

through the luminary lens

The sun is the great luminary of all life - Frank Lloyd Wright

talainsphotographyblog

Nature photography

Mike Powell

My journey through photography

The Prairie Ecologist

Essays, photos, and discussion about prairie ecology, restoration, and management

Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog

Kerry Mark Leibowitz's musings on the wonderful world of nature photography

Montana Outdoors

A weblog dedicated to the world outside the cities.

Cat Tales

Mike and Lori adrift

New Hampshire Garden Solutions

Exploring Nature in New Hampshire

Jessica's Nature Blog

https://natureinfocus.blog