The Bluebell Place, April 28th, 2018

We went on a 7 mile bike ride this past Saturday in what we call the BLUEBELL   PLACE which is a trail along the Schuylkill River, on the other side of the river from Valley Forge Park.  It is MILES of bluebells just outside of Philadelphia.  We visited this site just to bathe in the beauty of the place and enjoy one of our very favorite plants, the Mertensia virginica. 

There was some decent variation of the species on site, here is a pink variety. We also saw some pale  blue specimens. Lesser celandine was the most annoying invasive covering much of the area most likely previously inhabited by Mertensia at this time of the year. We tried to not let this bother us too much as we were here to enjoy a happy spring day.
As you can see here, the trail is very inviting and also very long, which is why we chose bicycling. There are benches all along that one can stop at to enjoy the view.
  Here you can see the Lesser Celandine taking over. If local residents and volunteers could adopt a small, doable section and hand pulled these, maybe it could help mitigate the problem. Here is a pale blue variety! 

Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve April 21st 2018

We arrived on Saturday, April 21 around 3:00 PM. We hiked about 2 1/2 miles and spent about 2 1/2 hours at the preserve. The blooming cycles were much later than they were in years past. We were at the point where the Dutchman’s breeches were in full bloom and the freshest. Many of the bluebells and trilliums were still in the earlier stages of blooming and some have not even opened yet. Only a few of the phlox were blooming. We got to see some of the white Trout Lily. The weather was perfect ! We met some folks from the Lancaster Conservancy, the new owner, who were there picking up trash. There was also some new signage and the trails were maintained very well. We also noticed that there was much less garlic mustard than in years past.

The Susquehanna Trillium

The Erythronium albidum, the white Trout Lily