Hepatica, Hepatica noblis on a dolomite rock outcropping
Much of Whipple Preserve is dolomite slump blocks, boulders and outcroppings. We admired many of the individual plants, beauties against the beast, eking out a living on the moss and moisture found in a harsh environment.
It is difficult to get a scope of the scale of some of these boulders, long parted from the native rock which spawned them. To move rock of this size would require the efforts of Sisyphus, the mythic Greek King.
The plants who cling on for dear life, often delicately rooted in mosses, are saxicolous: rock loving plants. We also see some of these same plants in Mohican State Park, like this common rock cress.
Much rarer is the Snow trillium, Trillium nivale, also found on rock formations. (Not in Whipple Preserve)
Photo from previous year...
This chunk of Adams County dolomite is festooned with Wild Columbine, Aquilegia canadensis. A favorite plant of hummingbirds and sphinx moths, it should be in bloom during Flora-Quest.
Like to learn more about geology and botany? There is one spot left in Tim Snyder's and Guy Denny's trip for Flora-Quest. This is your chance to spend 2 days with the experts and an evening with friends. Check out the Flora-Quest website - and call the hot-line to reserve your place.