Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve 2021

Due to the logistical complications SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic, our yearly visit in 2020 was canceled and 2021 was much later than usual. Adjusting my photographic aspirations accordingly, I sought to portray a Trillium that visually summed up our altered reality. Many great changes have occurred in our absence! The Lancaster Conservancy has done some amazing work bringing the wildflower preserve into the future.

The road leading to the preserve has been improved greatly and a fine parking area has been added in a location that was used for parking but was somewhat chaotic. Now it is lined with neat fencing and there is a signage kiosk explaining the preserve and providing a map. I photographed the map on my phone to be used to navigate the preserve. The road that used to lead along the railroad tracks to the trail head has been turned into a trail itself which is an amazing transformation because it is now pleasant to walk along the hillside without worrying about cars driving by.

The old parking area in front of the old trail head was a chaotic mess for years. It was very awkward to park there and it was visually problematic. The new trail adds a whole new dimension to enjoying the preserve. Walking along the railroad tracks to the left is the hillside covered with Mertensia and there is a wonderful display of Columbine on a rocky outcrop just before the original trail head. No more crazy piling of automobiles at the bottom of the original trail head! We look forward to seeing what the Conservancy does with that area there is so much potential!

The original trail is pretty much as it was minus the Porta potty which has been located next to the parking lot. (improvement) I did notice that there was a lot of garlic mustard removal that had taken place over the years because there was very little noticeable on the trail itself. It didn’t seem as if there was less stomping on the plants than in years past although there was some spots where over eager photographers would stomp on the flowers in order to get a photograph of a flower further up the hill side. It would be nice to figure out a way to discourage this behavior. A maidenhair fern that had been stomped on many years ago and was not to be found in the years past after the initial stomping was found albeit in a diminutive state. Hopefully it will come back fully! Every year we have looked for this fern without any luck until now.
Isabelle made photos using a Lumix LX 7 and I used a Lumix DMZ-FZ200 and an IPhone XR.

The Lancaster Conservancy is doing a great job in the preservation of Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve!

May 1, 2021

Sean and Isabelle

Susquehanna Trillium advancing into seed production

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

Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve April 16, 2017

We arrived at the preserve around noon on  Sunday April 16,  2017.

It was very warm, in the 80s.  (some of the Mertensia was a bit wilted)

Nonetheless it was a glorious display of bluebells and Susquehanna Trillium.  The blue Phlox was also  putting on quite a show in the middle of the trail.  We ate our lunch of Wawa sandwiches at the bench near what we call the Trout Lily  trail.  There were lots of people out which was adding to the social aspect of our experience.

We climbed a new trail we had never been on before,  One that carried us all the way up to the top of the hill near the front of the main trail. We were afforded a fantastic view of the Susquehanna River and we also got to see lots of beautiful blooming bluebells up there.   We also found some white Trout Lily.

We were very careful the whole day to not step on any wildflowers.

Most of these pictures were taken with a Lumix LX7  except the selfie which was taken with an iPhone 6 Plus.