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Old May 15, 2014, 8:27 PM   #1
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Default Early Spring at the Home Park

Here are just a few photos from earlier this spring here at the home park. It's been such a busy season that I have not had time to post these. Better late than never (unless I'm boring you with too many photos?)

In any case, it's been a wonderfully rich and diverse spring season here in East Tennessee. Our native columbines began blooming much earlier than usual, and have lasted longer than usual as well.
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Old May 15, 2014, 8:28 PM   #2
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Chorus frogs have ceased their spring singing and egg-laying. All the tiny ponds are full of tiny tadpoles, and the diminutive adults are heading off to their damp forest summer homes.
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Old May 15, 2014, 8:29 PM   #3
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This mockingbird seems to be checking out the Tulip Poplar buds. By now, the Tulip Poplar trees are already leafed out and full of those tulip-like green and orange blooms.
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Old May 15, 2014, 8:30 PM   #4
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It was not a great season here for my favorite edible mushroom, but we did spot a few Morels...
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Old May 15, 2014, 8:31 PM   #5
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But it was a great season for one of my favorite common wildflowers. Just look at how many Jack In The Pulpit blooms were together in this one little corner of the forest!
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Old May 15, 2014, 8:32 PM   #6
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Was pleased to find a new population of Long-spurred violets here at the home park. Even after working here for 35 years, there are still daily surprises!
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Old May 15, 2014, 8:33 PM   #7
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These Mayapples were just sprouting when I took this photo a few weeks ago. Now they've already finished blooming and are beginning to ripen fruit. Spring wildflowers have to compress most of their life cycle into a brief period between the end of winter and the expanding of all the tree leaves...
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Old May 15, 2014, 8:34 PM   #8
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Our native Pinxter azalea (Rhododendron periclymenoides) were recovering from last year's incredible bloom, so just a little bloom this year.
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Old May 15, 2014, 8:35 PM   #9
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Not so for our Solomon's Seal plants - every plant in the park was loaded with their tiny bell-like flowers (soon to be small fruits relished by chipmunks and such).
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Old May 15, 2014, 8:35 PM   #10
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And our Wild Geraniums were also loaded with flowers this spring!
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