Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Trillium Trail

Tuesday May 15, 2018                                                                             Most Recent Posts:
Lewis Mountain Campground                                                                   
Wolf Howling and Moving On       
Shenandoah National Park                                                                      
Before and After Currituck Light

Well it’s not called the Trillium Trail by anyone but me.  It’s the AT going south from Lewis Mountain Campground but today it deserves its new name.

One thing among the many that I like about Lewis Mountain is that the AT goes within yards of it.  I can walk to the trail in less than 5 minutes.   So today I leave my nice camping spot and head out to walk south on the AT.  .


Having walked the entire 105 miles of it during the summer of 2015 it seems like an old friend
The big wide trail goes to the top of Lewis Mountain.  I leave that for another day and head across it and onto the AT.


I know that last week-end was “Wildflower Weekend” here in the park.  They have nice programs and group hikes.  I prefer this the week after when most of the flowers are still in bloom and I don’t go 10 steps before I find my first flowers.  But what are they?  Some sort of star grass? 


I recognize the Common Blue Violet which is extremely common and not ephemeral like many other wildflowers.  It is here in the park from March through June..  Look how intricate its blooms with the pathway of stripes leading to the heart of the matter.


It draws my eye right to the one spot of white with dark purple veined lines.  As a pollinator, I think I’d want to head right up the path.

Star Chickweed is also common in the Virginia woods.


Squaw Root past its prime.  It begins looking like a brownish yellow fleshy long slender pine cone stand up in the soil.  But it’s a wildflower though it doesn’t produce chlorphyll and never turns green.  It derives all its nutrients from the roots of trees especially oaks.  It’s also called Bear corn since it is a favorite food of bears.  A read that in Shenandoah it may represent up to 40% of their diet.  Really?  How in the world do they get big and fat on Bear Corn?


Not a wildflower but everywhere on the trail are acorns.  I guess there are so many the squirrels can’t gather them all.  I think they are cute and Oaks are my favorite trees.


And then I see it, right beside the trail.   


Not just a trillium but the large flowered trillium.  No wonder it is so obvious.


White with a pink blush.


And then, like when you are pregnant or buy a new car, you start seeing babies and your exact model of car everywhere.   Once I saw one trillium I found more.  No two are alike.  Seriously.  Wide leaves. narrow leaves, pink blush, totally white, multiple shades and hues of pink.


And all stunning!


The lacy edges to their petals give them a delicate look.




I am practically singing I’m so thrilled to see them.  At first I see them in ones and then twos



The further down the trail I go, the more I see –three flowers with  three petals, three leaves.




I took this picture to give a sense of their size.  One leaf is the nearly the size of my hand.

There are of course other wildflowers.  Here a trio of color with the blue violet, the white chickweed and the pink trillium.  If last week had an even heavier wealth of wildflowers it would surprise me.


And then there were four.


Just beginning to bud out were the Spiderwort.  I’d seen leaves and buds but here was the flower in full bloom.  They too are not ephemeral but bloom from April through July.




Who could create a spot more lovely to display trillium?


With a wild Geranium throw in as well.


The AT moves close to the Skyline Drive.  It’s a Tuesday in mid May.  Vacations haven’t started.  Few cars go by.  But I think – those who do will not see this cluster beauties nearly beside the road.  They will only see the BIG things, the views, maybe a deer, remotely possibly a bear.  I prefer hiking.


I give up counting.  There are trilliums in profusion.




Trillium with fiddle heads and Blood Root leaves.  Their flowers are already gone.



By now I am laughing delightedly at the abundance and you are wondering when is enough enough.

As far as the eye can see and further than the camera can, trillium abound.


I want to remember this joyful flower filled day with the same excess that I experienced.
You’ll pardon me.

Less than five square feet.





A tree fell across the trail and its pieces were casually tossed aside.  How many trillium did not come up here this year becasue they are under the logs?  But never mind, look at the numerous beauty. all around the pile.  The logs will rot and feed the soil and become food for even more trillium.


Perhaps the striped ones are my favorites.



Nature really does deal in both quality and Quantity.  No trillium right along the trail here.  Instead May Apple blankets both sides.


I always think of them as umbrellas with a little flower beneath.


The are hard to photograph being very near the ground and under the huge leaves.


But I find one nearly wide open.


And another fully open but with his back to me.  I wouldn’t dare step in there to photograph his face.


Apparently May Apple conditions disappear and the trillium are back on both sides of the trail for as far as I can see.  Are there millions of trillium here?




With so many trillium, unless you make a bold statement like the May Apple, you may get over looked.  But I spotted this delicate Bellwort at several spots along the trail.


I made my way as far as I was willing to go and turned around on the trail to enjoy it all over again.  It was just as incredible as the first time.  Nearly 3 miles of trillium one way.  I can’t help but sing a song inspired by a Mary Oliver poem.  How lucky am I on this day in this beautiful place!   Here’s a piece of the song.

Pay Attention
See the Wonder
Be Grateful and
Offer Praise


My last wildflower of the day is the one so often overlooked.  But its beauty in all its stages is really startling if we just stop and look.   And our diminishing bees love them.


After such a fantastic Tuesday it was hard to complain about foggy rainy Wednesday and Thursday.  Compare this picture with the first one in this post.  What a difference a day makes.

Looking out the front window toward Monday’s rainy sunset. As you can see, no neighbors.  I think there are perhaps 6 other folks here.  They’ll be coming in for the weekend but we have other plans.


  1. How fun to find what makes your heart sing! We enjoyed similar wildflowers on our visit to OH a few weeks ago as well. Thanks for sharing your lovely, peaceful walk in the woods.

  2. Those mountain fogs are interesting. Once I rode my motorcycle on the Skyline Drive all fogged in. The views were not good but the twisty road made it all worthwhile. ;c)

  3. ahhh, love seeing the trilliums

  4. Beautiful shots!

    We have trilliums here for two or three weeks this time of year. White trilliums in fact are the provincial flower for Ontario.

  5. Great photos...just love the wildflowers...they make me SMILE:o))) The Fog is just wildflower water;-))

  6. Wow! Those wildflower pictures are great- the spiderwort and may apple are pretty but the trillium is amazing! I love the variegated pink ones and the frilly edges of the blooms. They are all unique! Photos of dandelions are always cool! xxxooo

  7. Wow, great wildflowers there. Of course I love the fog picture as well. So mystical.

  8. Such a joyful hike through the woods! Those who stop looking after seeing just a few miss out on so much. The Bellwort is so delicate and "unassuming" in its demure pose. I agree the striped Trilium are special. Thanks for sharing the millions!! The foggy drizzles look so quiet and peaceful, I read the last part in whispers in my head :-)

  9. Your delightful discovery of Trillium takes me back to spring in Oregon and Washington when they were some of the first to bloom. Love the array of colors. I'll bet the bears eat their roots.

  10. We've been enjoying seeing the trillium in all of our hikes this spring, and I've been surprised at all of the different colors, too. What a gorgeous array of all kinds of wildflowers on your hike—and in such profusion! And of course, Mary Oliver has just the perfect words for such an occasion. That was quite the fog and rain you had the next two days. But good for quiet contemplation and for writing blog posts! :-))

  11. Oh my goodness...I felt like I was walking right there with you!! Those trillium are just beautiful🙂!! I also love the May Apple blankets along the path!! Everything was amazing!!

  12. I enjoyed walking along with you:) I might not have been as impressed by the flowers, but I sure enjoy hiking in scenic areas.

  13. Oh, I have to put this on my calendar! I was up there once when the trillium was blooming and I have never forgotten it nor been up there again when it was blooming. Thank you so much for the beautiful pictures.

  14. One of mine and my mother's favorite wild flower is the trillium. The last two houses we owned had an area where we found trillium. Thanks for all the delightful wildflower pictures.

  15. Now this post really takes me back to the east coast. I just love trillium, especially the pink. I found a couple on the Olympic Peninsula. I had to go to Google Images to look at the Bear Cones. I've never seen them before. They look just like pine cones growing out of the ground. Very cool! Someday maybe I'll see them as they "bloom!" That was some dense fog! Wow!

  16. Wildflower hunting and bird sightings are my two favorite things in the whole world. . .

  17. Gorgeous, especially the pinks. So many! Winnona looks mysterious and magestic in the fog.

  18. Spring is at its peak and love those wildflowers in the mountains. When we were there I was on the lookout of those Trillium and found a few unlike what you have experience this time of the year. There is no trillium here on the west but I can show you monkey flower (soon, when i catch up with my posts).

  19. Maybe a trillium is more than a million? Surely there are more than a million out there in the wild. ;) Who make up these words anyway? I love it when you are inspired to sing, even if I am not there to hear, even more if I am. Such an experience of joy connected to the love of Nature - what a wonderful gift to have. And be able to carry a tune without a bucket too - another blessing.


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