Wow! What a class event! Ed Demoney, Anstr Davidson, Bill Sublett, Valerie Meyer, Scott Mills, Bill Van Antwerp and their many VHTRC helpers make it harder and harder to improve upon a great trail run. But each year they succeed. Mother Nature also succeeded in showing off her wildflowers at the '01 MMT. Last year I saw about 30 species, this year over 45. The flowers apparently liked the cooler spring of 2001.
The Wild Azalea could very well be the official wildflower of the MMT because of it's image being etched on the finishers buckle. This year runners were not only traeted to beautiful clusters of the white to deep-pink blossoms of the head high bushes, but their sweet waves of aroma would periodically engulf the runners along the ridgetops of the MMT course.
Open fields to woody thickets, low wetlands to mountain tops, rich soil to to rocky soil, roadsides to deep woods - the MMT goes through a wide variety of habitats. And, each habitat provides the opportunity for Nature to show her stuff. Of special interest to me was the presence again this year of Turkey Beard, a terminal cluster of small white flowers growing from a single thick stem two to three feet high. The only spot I have seen it is at the very top of Waterfall Mt., and there were only 6-8 plants - just like last year. A first-timer for me in the Massanuttens was Sundial Lupine, a beautiful deep purple flower 1-2 feet high growing along FDR 274 going from the bottom of Kerns Mt. toward the Visitor Center.
The list and their locations (as far as I remember, anyway ):
Wild Azalea (white/pink), common
Bluets (blue/lavender), common
Blackberry (white), common
Yellow Wood Sorrell (yellow), common
Star Grass (yellow), common
Jack in the Pulpit (green), common
Violets (many shades of blue to white), common
Ground Ivy (purple), common
Rue Anemone (white), common
Dandelion (yellow), common OK, OK ... its still a flower, growing wild !!
Pussytoes (white), common
Cinquefoil (yellow), common
Rattlesnake Weed (yellow), common
Hawkweed (yellow), common
Field Mustard (yellow), common
Deerberry (white), Habron Gap, Woodstock Tower
Mountain Laurel (white to pink), Gap Creek, Scothorn Gap, Powells Fort
Beardtongue (purple), Buzzard's Rock, Rt 613
Bowman's Root (white), Buzzard's Rock
Buttercup (yellow), Rt 613
Spiderwort (purple), Shawl Gap, Bird Knob, Waterfall trail
Goat's Beard (pale yellow), Rt 684
Spring Beauty (pink, white), Duncan Hollow
Wild Phlox (lavender), Buzzard's Rock, Bird Knob, Bear Wallow trail
Pink Lady's Slipper (pink), Habron Gap trail, Milford Gap, Visitor Center
Dame's Rocket (blue/lavender), Visitor Center
Turkey Beard (white), top of Waterfall Mt
Wild Geranium (blue), Woodstock Tower, Powell's Fort
Green and Gold (yellow), Scothorn Gap, Eliz Furnace
Red Clover (deep pink), Rt 684 Yeah, I know but it adds to the numbers.
Solomon's Seal (green), Habron Gap, Bird Knob, Woodstock Tower
Solomon's Plume (white), Powell's Fort, Eliz Furnace
Garlic Mustard (white), Rt 684, FDR 274
Honeysuckle (yellow/white), Rt 717
May Apple (white), Rt 613, FDR 274
Ox Eye Daisy (white w/ yellow center), Powell's Fort
Speedwell (levender), Kern's Mt
Lyre-leaved Sage (blue), Rt 684
Robin Plantain (lavender w/ yellow center), Buzzard's Rock, Powell's Fort
Dwarf Iris (blue/yellow), Bird Knob, Waterfall trail
Perfoliate Bellwort (green), Woodstock Tower
Squawroot (yellow/brown), Habron Gap, Waterfall trail
Vetch (blue), several species down low along roads
Bastard Toadflax (white), Jack's Notch, Stephen's trail
Autumn Olive (green), bottom of Jawbone trail
Sundial Lupine (purple), FDR 274
"Whenever you go on a trail run, you find more than you seek"
I wish I had said it first.
Gary ( #51)
Virginia Happy Trails Running Club
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