Friday, April 30, 2010

Wildflower Walk at Fort Campbell & Green Thumb

From In the Garden

As a companion post to my Wildflower Wednesday post I thought I'd share some wildflowers growing at my favorite spot to walk on Fort Campbell. Prior to beginning blogging a few years ago I had always enjoyed this walk and all the flowers along the way, but never knew what they were. I now try to identify each of the flowers and have a greater appreciation for the diversity on Fort Campbell simply because I know a little bit about the flowers. Does that make sense? Anyhow, let's take a walk today. I warn you there are two teenagers and Mr. Fix-it along for the walk. I probably should've warned them that I'd be snapping wildflower pictures. They were good sports though and didn't mind mom lagging behind a bit.

The above picture is taken from a bridge along a creek where many folks stop to fish, picnic or just to hang out. We always like to pause in this area, kick off our shoes and wade in the water.

Under the very same bridge where I took the picture there is a colony of what I believe to be cliff swallows. I so enjoy these guys swooping and diving after all the bugs in this area. Their nests are pretty cool too. When I worked up top at Clarksville Base we had a family of these swallows build their nest just above the front door to our building; which was not a smart thing to do. It's much safer under the bridge for nests and nestlings.

There are a few bridges crossing this stream. The view to the other bridges is quite scenic and tranquil.

Under the second bridge is a series of columns that seems to go on forever in both directions. It's quite a cool spot to look at the underpinnings of a bridge.
Look closely at this picture. I include it for Jimmy. He is into free running and enjoyed jumping, running, and climbing on this walk. See him on the left? I was fortunate to capture him off the ground. There is nothing I love better than teenagers when they are out exercising. Think happy endorphins that stay with said teenagers for several hours; which makes for pleasant relations between teens and parents. I tried to walk my kids a lot when the older ones were teens. 'Nuff said.
Okay, back to wildflowers. The woodland phlox was in full bloom. It's probably hard to see in this picture but it is the light purple on top of these rocks. The phlox grows everywhere in these woods and smells so good.
I believe this is a bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora) but I could be wrong. Please let me know the correct identification if you know it. It grows wild all along the road. I also have it in my garden but it is too small to bloom. I know it is a buckeye but not sure of the cultivar or type.
Now here is an interesting combination. I know these umbrella plants are mayapples (Podaphyllum peltatum). I also have these in my garden and they are in bloom right now. The round leaved plant next to them is perhaps ginger? I'm not sure. There is also a cut leaf plant to the top of the picture which I have no idea what it can be.
I think this is some kind of toothwort and trout lilies (Erythronium americanum). There was a whole hill of these lilies and it was simply splendid! I chose to post the close up but do have a picture of the hill. Unfortunately, on our walk the trout lilies had already bloomed out. The seed capsules were very visible just waiting to spread themselves around.
And of course I think everyone knows these pretties, Virginia bluebells. There are whole glades full of shining blue flowers. Simply stunning is the only way to describe the beauty.

There are more wildflowers on Clarksville Base as well as native trees. This area is fairly untouched by invasives but I did notice some multiflora, Japanese honeysuckle, and perilla. I'll post on the trees perhaps another day. If only they could talk I can imagine the stories they would tell us.

Finally, here are the two teenagers who honored Mr. Fix-it and I with their presence. Both boys had a great time walking the long trail on Clarksville Base. These two boys are trying to start a band and are very into guitars and singing. I'm always in awe of musically inclined people since I could never carry a tune to save my life, can't read music, and could never get the rhythm right with breathing or anything else, let's not even talk dancing. And believe me, I tried when I was a teen as my mother will attest. Music is not in my genes but Jimmy (left) and Clint (right) enjoy it enough for all of us. They were good sports to come along on our wildflower walk....

in the garden....

I need to let my local readers know about the Green Thumb Festival scheduled from 8 am-4 pm tomorrow, May 1st at the Habitat Re-Store on Madison Street in Clarksville. This festival is for all things gardening. Guess you know I'll be there-all day. This is the first annual Green Thumb Festival. Its purpose is to bring awareness to the Habitat Re-Store and to celebrate gardening season with local vendors and gardening enthusiasts. There will be lots of classes on diverse subjects such as landscaping and rain barrels, vendors and plenty of plants-just in time for gardening season. Come on out and enjoy the company of fellow gardeners!


  1. Seems like a really nice place to take a walk. The bridges are beautiful.

  2. What a beautiful area. Nice for the teens to join you. Wildflowers I cannot help you ID. As for music, we have some talent in our family, not me, I like you, can't carry a tune in a bucket..

  3. How nice, Tina! Great shot of Jimmy in the air! I admire musicians as well, being completely without any gifts there, but still like to sing and dance, by myself! The wildflowers and numbers of them are amazing. Glad they are fairly undisturbed so they can naturalize like that. :-)

  4. I needed a good walk Tina--thanks for taking me along! When we hike in Colorado, I take my field guide with me and stop at all the flowers trying to identify them. The yellows are the hardest. I have a friend who told me her gardening friends call them "yellow look-alikes." Then I found out it's because they cross pollinate and you get mixtures of several flowers. Nature! Gotta love it! :)

  5. I really like the umbrella plants. Thanks for the wildflower walk.

  6. Looks like you all had fun! I though Jimmy was climbing a rope or something - good catch! The bluebells are very cool - something I need to add to our garden.

  7. Beautiful day for a beautiful walk through a beautiful area.

  8. This is such a beautiful place to walk, Tina. The bluebells are gorgeous! Good luck to the boys with their band. That was always my secret fantasy, but since I still can't play more than two chords on my guitar, I think it probably won't come to pass:)

    Good for you for taking your kids on so many long walks. I've always thought that kids who are involved in physical activity are less likely to get into things they shouldn't.

  9. How unusual that your wild flowers are blooming at the same time ours are. We had a couple weeks of really hot weather earlier and must have caught up with the your plant's schedules.

  10. Good morning all! Wonderful day in Tennessee! Lots of gardening planned since it is scheduled to rain this weekend.

    Dawn, Wonderful walk indeed!

    Darla, You sound like me!

    Frances, Dancing is a very nice thing to be able to do!

    Linda, Those cross pollinators are nature's ways of tricking us and diversifying making is most hard to identify them indeed. Yellow look alikes is an apt name. Have a great weekend.

    GSS, Looks like we'll need umbrellas this weekend too bad they weren't big enough!

    Dave, I was surprised I caught him. A picture and memory he'll remember forever. Bluebells are fun!

    Janet, I so love this place-can you tell?

    Rose, Ah ha! There is a whole segment of folks who secretly yearn to start a band and make it big. Very neat you fall into that category. Guitars can be so cool. Yup, good long walks do us all good.

    Marnie, Some of these photos were taken a few weeks ago. The bluebells are mostly gone but the phlox is still hanging on. It has been a weird spring this year but isn't it great we all have the same wildflowers? They unite this big world.

  11. Cool swallow's nests. I just assumed they were bee hives of some sort. I don't know much about either I guess. I love the foliage of the buckeye. I could see the round leafed plant being an asarum, I'd like to think that's what it is. Very beautiful woodland combinations.

  12. I love taking the walk with you Tina, but then you know what I'm partial to:) You're right about those endorphins kicking in when teenagers--adults, too--get some exercise. It's happy camper time all around! Thanks for the encouraging comment you left. It made me smile. Good luck with your event tomorrow.

  13. Megan, These nests are all made out of mud. It's really cool seeing the babies all hanging out in them-apartment complexes for sure.

    W2W, Yes indeed you are a walker! Though walking with you I'd probably be running. We had a great time but really need to do it more. It's been a hectic week. Hang in there on the house and all. Things have a funny way of working out. Thanks on tomorrow. Rain or shine and right now there is forecasted bad storm so we all will need some luck!

  14. Thanks for the tour, very interesting. My DH was stationed at Fort Campbell, during his military days. I have been peaking through your blog and admiring your beautiful garden. Stop by some day for a visit if you get a chance.

  15. I loved seeing the flowers on your walk. I wonder if my Virginia Bluebells will ever look like those? Somehow I doubt it :) I love swallows too, they are so pretty in flight.
    I think it's great that two teenage boys would join you on a walk. It looks like they had some background music to enjoy while walking :) Good luck with their band. I'm guessing by the Megadeath shirt they like metal? Sweet Pea is learning how to rock with her guitar, she's a natural with it.

    PS Thanks for the great help on the Clematis, I'm going to see if that could be Nelly's problem.

  16. Great place to walk -I'm sure the young guys had a great time checking out the area. Lots of pretty flowers but also some nice areas with water -and if your "lucky" a snake or frog. (okay so my boys would be thinking that was lucky) not so sure about me, heheeh.
    Tina, I had an amazing time yesterday and can't stop thinking about your yard -it reminds me of the Botantical Gardens we visited last summer -so much color, variety and just gorgeous!
    Lil Bundle had shots today so I'm not sure how he will be later -have a great weekend! Ciao

  17. Hi Sandy and welcome! I'm headed your way in just a moment..

    Catherine, Yup, son had just bought an IPOD from a friend and has since lost it at school:( Hate it for him but hey, what can I do? He likes metal indeed, much to my chagrin. But anything he shows an interest in that is constructive is ok so we tolerate his guitar playing pretty well. You're welcomed on the tip. Hope it is the problem as you can fix it easily enough. Have a good weekend.

    Anonymous, We had a delightful day with you too! Lil Bundle was too sweet! All my pictures came out well. I have an awesome one with my mother and Lil Bundle I may post it. I'll send some pics out as soon as I get the chance. Today is supposed to be gardening with the rain plus I have to get ready for Green Thumb. Busy time for sure. Lil Bundle will feel well soon enough and I know you'll make him most comfy. Have a super weekend and if you get the chance stop by Re-Store and say hey. Bring the kiddos.

  18. Great beauty on Post! I plan to be at the event tomorrow if the rain holds out that is.... Had a ball at the Humane society yard sale yesterday...

    Must get now as I have two places to be at once. yikes....

  19. What a wonderful walk. So many flowers to see & learn about.
    Good pic of Jimmy. He will value it as he gets older. Music is very good.
    Glad you all had a great day together. Would like to see some of the pics.

  20. Music is not one of my talents either Tina but it's a great creative outlet. Glad your sons enjoy it.
    Your walk is in a beautiful area and so much to see. The leaves of the trout lilies remind me of my orchid leaves? I wonder if they are in the same family?
    Have a terrific weekend.

  21. Isn't it great when the younger generation joins in? They probably absorbed a lot of information without you even knowing! :-)

  22. Tina, what a wonderful place to take Very few places can be considered untouched by invasives any mpre. I thisk it was the perfect way to let teens burn off some the incredible energy they seem so have. Good luck to them with their band.

  23. Very nice. Those are definitely wild ginger around the mayapples. We have alot of similar woodland plants.

  24. Love the pictures of wildflowers. Your boys are cute, too. My girls love music also. My youngest, Carson, wants to be a country singer one day. Carla

  25. We were once stationed at Ft. Campbell and I must say I don't remember your walk trail at all. I really missed something quite lovely. But I did enjoy my stay.
    Tell me is there still a sign on the road that crosses the airstrip saying "Yield to low flying aircraft"?

  26. I hadn't heard of Virginia bluebells, but I think they look absolutely lovely :) I enjoyed this virtual walk, thanks Tina!

  27. Those Bluebells are amazing. We used to see groups of Bluebells like that when we lived in western PA.

  28. Hi tina

    Really a nice walk, tina! I enjoyed walking with you. The bluebells and the umbrella plants are so lovely, I have never seen umbrella plants before! As for wild plants, I'm embarassed that I can only name few of them precisely... And I was very interested in your swallows because the shapes of their nests are little bit different from the ones we are familiar with. Swallows are now flying about around my house. Thank you!

  29. Enjoyed this walk - both the plants and the bridges. I can't say I've seen any wild bluebells around here - they're just amazing!

    I have a surplus of books on free running (had never heard of it til a month ago!) Let me know if you'd like them for the boys - happy to share to someone who will appreciate them!

  30. The Virginia Bluebells are gorgeous! But I also enjoyed your photos of the teenage boys. My own three sons are grown, and the youngest one graduates from college next week. He will be moving to California - all the way across the country! - to work, so I am experiencing a relapse of empty nest syndrome. I want a house full of teenage boys again, and yes, mine had a band that practiced upstairs and just about rocked the roof off!

  31. Another nice walk at the base but the shot of my grandson in mid air is a great shot!!!