Wildflower Mysteries

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Bluff Trail at Medoc Mountain State Park
Last weekend brought another exceptional hike to Medoc. In spring, the wildflowers are remarkable here. My mother and grandmother made pilgrimages here to see the wildflowers and now, I seem to be following in their hiking steps.

For me, wildflowers were always a mystery. I never could keep them straight, all those names floating around in my world, and unable to know which names go with which flowers. Or colors. Not to mention the Latin names.

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Jack-in-the-pulpit opened bloom
Again and again, I’d ask mom, When does bloodroot bloom? What’s the Latin name? (Sanguinaria canadensis) What’s a trout lily? What’s the elegant white flower that blooms in boggy places? You get the idea.

At long last, some of it has taken, well, root, in my mind. In the 11 years Greg and I have been hiking together, I’ve learned to recognize so many flowers, now. I still ask mom for help quite often, What does trailing arbutus look like? When does it bloom?

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Atamasco lily

So on Saturday, Greg and I were in Medoc again, and this time, we hiked the Bluff Trail. Within minutes, we found an expired moccasin flower bloom (pink), and then nearby, a blooming partridge berry. Bluets, yellow cinquefoils, wood sorrels. We saw two atamasco lilies, as well as mountain laurel in bloom. (In western North Carolina, atamaso lily also goes by the Native American name “Cullowhee.)

So in today’s Fiction Daily, it’s not fiction at all, just genuine images from our hike.

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Mountain laurel along the trail

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Jack-in-the-pulpit bloom by bridge

All photos by Marion Blackburn

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