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Wildflowers in Cary

posted Mar 31, 2019, 1:27 PM by Justin P   [ updated Apr 4, 2019, 2:35 PM ]
Sunday, we took Alex to go on some short wildflower hikes near Cary.  Our first stop was at Crowder District Park off Ten-Ten Road.  After parking, we hiked the Outer Loop around the perimeter of the park.  Near the pond, some cherry trees were blooming.

Taking the Inner Loop around the pond led to the boardwalk and nice views of Crowder Pond.

The pollen was starting to fall and it was all over the pond and paved trail.

Back around the pond, we took the unpaved Coopers Hawk Trail and connected back with the Outer Loop to finish up.  Next, we made the short drive to Swift Creek Bluffs Nature Preserve.  This would be the sixth and final hike for Alex to complete the #hikeTLC challenge.

Right away, we saw a lot of spring beauty blooming and a couple wild geranium.

Hiking along the creek, there were a lot of wildflowers blooming though the water level was low.

We walked along the creek and then took the Stairway to Heaven up to the top of the bluffs.

There were some bloodroot blooming up here.

We also saw a little snail.

Back down the stairs, we started heading back to the car.  But the going was slow as there were lots of wildflowers along the Swift Creek floodplain.

The spring beauty were blanketing the forest floor in white.

A couple of trout litlies were blooming.

And Sandy spotted a single atamasco lily before we finished.

In another week or so, there will probably be a lot more.  From here, there was one more stop at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve.  We first hiked the down the East Bluffs.  The steep north-facing bluffs support a population of Eastern hemlock, normally found further west in the mountains.

At the base, we took the Swift Creek Trail around and saw more wildflowers blooming along the boardwalks.  Then we hiked the west loop and took a break at the West Hemlock Bluffs Overlook.  A little Carolina anole was on a tree here.

We continued on the Chestnut Oak Loop Trail and made another stop at Chestnut Oak Overlook.

After finishing, we hiked down the Kildaire Farm Street-Side Trail to Swift Creek Greenway, part of the Carys Greenway system.  The trail followed the other side of Swift Creek and there were more wildflowers blooming here.

At Regency Parkway, the trail crosses Swift Creek on the sidewalk.

There were some eastern redbud blooming along the creek.

We turned around here and started making our way back.  At one point, we saw a water snake just off the trail.

Back at Kildaire Farm Road, we returned to Hemlock Bluffs and headed home.