You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage celebrates spring


April, my favorite month of the year, is when waves of colorful neo-tropical songbirds return from winter homes in Latin America, and when woodland wildflowers burst into all of the rainbow hues.

For me, there’s no better celebration of this grand seasonal procession than the Georgia Botanical Society’s annual three-day Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage—held each year in a different part of the state and offering several field trips to explore surrounding natural areas. Actually, this year’s pilgrimage, held last weekend, was based in Chattanooga just across the Georgia line in Tennessee. Chattanooga was a good starting point to explore this year’s focus area—the rugged Ridge and Valley region of the Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia and East Tennessee.

RELATED VIDEO:

Here are excerpts from my notes:

“I opt for a day-long walk into Shakerag Hollow, an undisturbed cove mountain forest superbly rich in wildflower diversity adjacent to the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn…Our leader, Dennis Horn, an expert on Tennessee flora, says one of the special wildflowers here is the spotted mandarin, a whitish flower with purple spots…We spy it in bloom near a waterfall and take turns photographing it.”

“(On the) next day, we do a 5-mile, wildflower walk in Cloudland Canyon State Park in Dade County…We descend to the bottom of the canyon and exit at a botanically-rich section known as Sitton’s gulch, near the town of Trenton…The scenery is superb…Our leader, Rich Reaves, says 12 species of violets bloom in the park…We spy most of them along the way.”

“Another outing takes us to Rising Fawn Gardens, a private retreat in Dade County, where we find a profusion of blooming wildflowers, including a huge patch of Virginia bluebells along Lookout Creek.”

RELATED: Trilliums: The floral stars of early spring in Georgia’s woodlands

IN THE SKY: From David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer: The annual Lyrid meteor shower will reach a peak of about 15 meteors per hour on Friday, April 21, in the northeast from about 2 a.m. until dawn.

The moon will be last quarter on Wednesday. Mercury is low, and Mars is very low in the west just after dark. Venus is low in the east just before dawn. Jupiter rises in the east just after dusk. Saturn rises in the east around midnight and appears near the moon tonight.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

‘60s utopianism struck deep into heart of American parenting
‘60s utopianism struck deep into heart of American parenting

Q: I’ve read enough of your writings to know that you believe children should be obedient, that they should do what they are told. I want my children to think for themselves and to question authority, not to blindly obey simply because someone is bigger than they are. I don’t want them thinking that “might makes right.” What&rsquo...
A tribute to a life well lived
A tribute to a life well lived

I walked what seemed to be a mile on high heels, while crossing the bridge that links Emory Hospital to its parking garage. It was Sunday morning, and most visitors had not arrived yet. The hallways echoed with the sound of my shoes, and in my heart, a haunting sadness lingered. Only 30 minutes earlier, I was sitting at my Sunday School class, waiting...
Getting up close and personal with reptiles at Repticon
Getting up close and personal with reptiles at Repticon

If it’s creepy, crawly, scaled and makes the hairs on your arms go up, it’s probably at Repticon. Repticon is a leader in hosting reptile and exotic pet shows all across the U.S. Whether you have been breeding snakes your entire life or you’re just looking for a new pet, Repticon has a place for you. The hands-on demonstrations...
Atlanta faith calendar
Atlanta faith calendar

Book signing: During the Page from the Book Festival, actor Stephen Tobolowsky—who has appeared in more than 100 movies and 200 television shows including “Deadwood,” “Glee” and “The Goldbergs”—will discuss and sign copies of his new book “My Adventures with God.”  7:30 p.m. May...
Author Jenny Han in Atlanta to promote new book in ‘Lara Jean’ series
Author Jenny Han in Atlanta to promote new book in ‘Lara Jean’ series

Jenny Han broke ground with the Song family, a close trio of half-Korean sisters who work hard to support each other after the death of their mother. Now the family is back with “Always and Forever, Lara Jean,” which tells the story of the lovable middle sister as her senior year in high school comes to an end and she still holds a big...
More Stories