Sunday, May 6, 2012

Wildflowers at Bland Nature Preserve

April 14, 2012
Bland Nature Preserve

On April 14, I went on a Wildflower Walk with the Virginia Master Naturalists and the Roanoke Native Plant Society at the Bland Nature Preserve.   Located in Montgomery County and only 5 miles from Blacksburg, the preserve is owned by the Nature Conservancy and is not open to the public so this was a special treat.   The trail is along Mill Creek and contains several waterfalls (so intrigued with the flowers I didn't take photos!) along with loads of trillium and other native wildflowers. 

The Jack-in-the-Pulpit was huge--biggest one I have seen.  I haven't spotted any this year on my land as they seem to pop up in different places every year.

Showy Orchis
April 14, 2012
Bland Nature Preserve

The Showy Orchis also was larger than what I have on my land.  Will mine be that large in a few years or is the habitat just different?

What I liked the most about the walk was seeing some new species--green violet, etc.

Back at Home
At home, I ventured into my cove which has steep slopes containing trillium and the native orchis too.  As I was pulling up the invasive multi-flora rose (really bad this year), I noticed we too have the green violet but only in the cove as far as I can see.

 I found the Rattle Snake fern everywhere in the woods.  You can see it in the lower left of the photo.   I always thought it must be a plant in the parsley family but the central stem never bloomed.  Now I know why--those are the spores, not buds.

I put up a large cake feeder on April 27 and immediately a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak came to feed.  He was here only one day and left.  Also, a pair of Indigo Buntings left quickly after feeding on the ground.  They never stick around but I enjoy their colorful visits.

This photo illustrates the difference in the red color of the two birds.  The Northern Cardinal has a little more orange in the red while the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak is a truer red.  It almost looks like there is blood on his chest.

This Red-Bellied Woodpecker was looking for insects in the Mimosa tree which is near the feeder.


  1. I've been wondering what that first wildflower was. I photographed one in South Mountain, NC a few weeks ago. Thank you for clearing that up for me. Love the bird photos. I have feeders out but am not out there enough to capture them in a photo. Their colors are magnificent.

  2. Thanks Jenn June--thanks for the visit. I just love Jack-in-the-Pulpit!

  3. Lovely wild flowers - I envy your woods and the diversity you get there. Ain't like the city here!

  4. Very nice shots. I felt like I was with you on this story. :-)

  5. Replies
    1. This blog is a feast of nature! This is a great opportunity to learn more about the wild in small bites, and the photos are very inspiring for poetry. Thank you. :)