Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wildflowers~Porters Creek Trail

We arrived in

The Great Smoky National Park on Monday.

We stopped here to catch the view and so that Jeff could disconnect the car and drive back into Gatlinburg to pick up our mail that was sent general delivery.

Gatlinberg Porter _003This pull off is a few miles from Gatlinburg and three miles from our campground. This is the closest spot from our campground to pick up a cell signal.

We will be taking the drive several times to make calls and hook up to the internet.

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Yesterday we took Porters Creek Trail to Campsite 31~a 7.5 mile round trip hike.

Gatlinberg Porter _027We were told it would be a good trail to see wildflowers.

The trail starts off wide and graveled.

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Eastern Comma

Gatlinberg Porter _022We start seeing a few wildflowers


Gatlinberg Porter _030The trail meanders..following Porters Creek and crosses the creek several times.

Gatlinberg Porter _033Waldo came out to play…he liked sticking his feet in the icy water.

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I will label the flowers I have identified.

If any of the labels are wrong or you know what the question marked flowers are, just leave me a comment. Thanks!

Thanks so much for the ID Help everyone!

Robin's Plantain - Erigeron pulchellus ?

Fleabane Thanks Sara

Gatlinberg Porter _048Plenty of ferns of different varieties unfolding..

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Gatlinberg Porter _066Gatlinberg Porter _106Sweet White Violet ?

Gatlinberg Porter _055Large-flower Trillium

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Rue Anemone Thalictrum thalictroides

Thanks Sara and Sicksta Lori

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Star Chickweed

Thanks Sara and Sicksta Lori

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There were the remains of several homes on the trail..

Gatlinberg Porter _100This flower was around the foundation  of one of the old homesteads.


Wood Betony~Lousewart

Thanks Sara and Sicksta Lori

Gatlinberg Porter _103This stairway leads to graveyard.

Gatlinberg Porter _389The graves that were labeled were from the late 1800s early 1900s.

Porters Creek is full of human history too.  Settled in the 1800s, it was once a small, but thriving community of family farms, a school, a hotel, stores, churches, and grist mills.  Old stone walls, house foundations, and nonnative daylilies are remnants of this life.  A reconstructed cantilevered barn, spring house, and cabin are near the start of the Brushy Mountain Trail.  Two old mill stones were used in the cabin’s “patio.”  The most touching part of this history may be seen in the Ownby cemetery (on the right just past a small foot bridge).  Some adults are buried there, but most appear to be children – some were born and died on the same day, others just a few weeks old, some at age 1 or 2.  This little mossy cemetery is a testament to the hard life lived in these mountains at the turn of the last century.  It is still cared for and kept meticulously clean.  Nearly every grave is graced with a bouquet of colorful plastic flowers even though most of the souls resting peacefully in this lovely spot have lain here 100 years or more. via Smokies Blog


Gatlinberg Porter _385Large-white Trillium

Gatlinberg Porter _116The trail leaves the homestead area and narrows..

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Yellow Trout Lily Erythronium americanum

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The (American) Five-lined Skink

I believe this is a young one as it has the blue tail ~Blue-tailed Skink

the adult is called a Red-headed Skink

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There are two of these narrow bridges crossing the creek

This one leans at an angle over the creek..

Gatlinberg Porter _154Jeff thought the water looked very fishable..

Gatlinberg Porter _155Looking for fish..

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Carolina Spring Beauty Claytonia caroliniana

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Gatlinberg Porter _166A close up of

Yellow Trout Lily Erythronium americanum

Gatlinberg Porter _178The Path meanders through a forest full of…

White Fringed Phacelia- Phacelia fimbriata

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Fringed Phacelia

Gatlinberg Porter _210Wild Geranium

Gatlinberg Porter _219A few miles in are some waterfalls.

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Gatlinberg Porter _227We cross the lower section of the falls and continue our hike

A yellow Violet of some sort..The closest I could come up with was Redwood Violet which doesn’t grow in this area.


Smooth Yellow Violet

Thanks Sara

Gatlinberg Porter _231Fraser’s Sedge

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We only saw one section on the trail with this flower..

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thanks Sara

Gatlinberg Porter _250Flowering trio…

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Rue Anemone Thalictrum thalictroides

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We made it!

Campsite 31..I still have the leftover of a cold and found it difficult getting air the first part of the hike..

The second half was much easier..

besides it was mostly all downhill.

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Gatlinberg Porter _292A hillside of Trout Lily

Gatlinberg Porter _298I see a heart

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7~?  Phlox?

Blue Phlox- Phlox divaricate

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Dutchman's Britches - Dicentra cucullaria

Gatlinberg Porter _312Two different White Trillium

The top flower according to this online website.

White Erect Trillium Trillium erectum albiflorum

The one below looks to be

Large-flower Trillium

Gatlinberg Porter _328White Erect Trillium Trillium erectum albiflorum

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I loved this delicate plant that was unfolding..

Gatlinberg Porter _339If you look closely you will see tiny little hairs..

Gatlinberg Porter _343Here we go again..

Another walk thru the forest of

White Fringed Phacelia- Phacelia fimbriata

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This trillium was not opened when we started our hike..

On the way down I noticed several starting to open.. I never expected to see a yellow flower. I thought for sure it would be purple.

Yellow Trillium- Trillium luteum

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This was a wonderful walk…there are still many wildflowers that should be popping up in the next week or two.

Off today for another wildflower walk.

Stay tuned!


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