Wednesday, April 21, 2021

SHARING A WALK NEAR THE BLUEBELLS

 Once again we went on a walk, this time to the Old Stone Bridge in Manassas.  We have been going to other walking trails a few miles ahead of this one, but it is well known for the Virginia Bluebells, which were in bloom.  It is also a favorite area for photographers and we saw several people walking back to their cars with cameras.

The river we walk next to is called Bull Run.
Virginia bluebells were given their botanical name, Mertensia virginica, in honor of German botanist Franz Carol Mertens.  The name Mertensia was later given to a family of jellyfishes in honor of Mertens' son, K. H. Mertens.  Like the flowers, the jellyfish are also quite colorful. 
In April 1776 Thomas Jefferson noted "a bluish colored, funnel-formed flower in lowgrounds in bloom" in one of the earliest entries of his garden book.  
Common names for these flowers are Virginia bluebells, Lungwort Oysterleaf, Virginia Cowslip and Old Ladies Bonnets.
My information came from the Lewis Ginter Garden here.
In the next photo you can see a wildflower called Dutchman's Breeches.  I looked everywhere for them but the only ones I found were these, not as showy as others I have seen.  I think I was a week late for their tip-top blooming...
but there was lovely foliage that looked a bit like parsley, and I recognized it as that of this particular flower.  I checked thoroughly in other places but though I saw more foliage, I couldn't see any more of them blooming.
This pretty wildflower is named for its sprays of yellow-tipped white flowers that reminded those who named them back in the day, of the wide-legged, traditional pantaloons worn by Dutch men.  Our flower is found throughout the eastern and midwestern North America, usually in open woodlands.  Its foliage grows from white underground tubers and is not as tall as the flowering stalk.  
This is a decayed fungus growing on a fallen tree trunk.  I have never seen them like this before.  Unfortunately my search online didn't result in any definite ID.  Still, all part of nature's rich reward when walking along.  I always enjoy finding the simplest things, as many of you do,  and still seem at this stage of my life to be curious about everything, for which I am grateful.
A lot of trees have fallen in this area.
There was blue paint on several that were very old but still upright, marked for chopping down perhaps.  There were also thousands of holes in a lot of the trees.  I thought these were from the woodpeckers burying their nuts in the bark over many winters. I have often watched them in our garden.  I sprinkle sunflower seeds on our deck rail, and watch them fly down and pick up a seed.  They fly up into one of our largest trees where they poke them into previously drilled holes.  But there are other explanation which you can read about here.


We took several more photos and I will save those for another time.

Have a great day everyone, and thanks for looking.






43 comments:


  1. It is a beautiful and unusual place. I also like to photograph plants and trees. We really need such walks now. Lots of health, have a nice day :)

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    1. I agree, we need our walks and I am happy you enjoy photographing plants and trees. Thank you, I wish you the same :)

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  2. Thank you (so much) for taking us with you on this beautiful and interesting walk.

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    1. You are very welcome EC :). I am glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. Bardzo dziękuję za odwiedzenie mojego bloga i pozostawienie miłego komentarza :)

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  4. Hello,

    The bluebells are so pretty. We had a similar walk, seeing the same wildflowers. Lovely photos. Take care, have a happy day!

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    1. Happy you enjoyed Eileen, and I look forward to your photos. Happy day and you take care also :)

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  5. Gorgeous photos Denise. I especially like the pretty Virginia bluebells. The fungus and the old fallen tree are both really cool too!

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  6. Bluebells look so pretty. Bull Run looks a lot more peaceful now than it did once upon a time.

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    1. Thanks William :) it does make us more reflective knowing what went on here.

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  7. So the woodpeckers are looking for food? Must be a shortage. Pretty bluebells.

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    1. Thank you Christine :) Those woodpeckers always seem to be looking for food.

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    1. Thanks Jenn, they’re pretty aren’t they? :)

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  9. The Dutchman's Breeches are fascinating, I have never seen any in real life. And of course, the Bluebells are gorgeous.

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    1. I agree, I studied it long and hard when I first found one. Thanks Ginny :)

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  10. I came from admiring Lindas Texas Bluebonnets to your beautiful blue bells. and my favorite photo, although it may seen odd, is that broken tree that fell. love it and I am loving those ferns. spring has sprung and Masanassa is looking great

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    1. Hi Sandra, I would love to see those Texas Bluebonnets but have yet to see the real thing. They look gorgeous in photos. I love that old tree too. Yes Spring has sprung :)

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  11. Im convinced that curiosity is a gift Denise and I am glad you have it and especially that you share the discoveries it leads you to! Your photos are beautiful,, those bluebells are charming. And now I’m off to follow the link to learn about those holes. I too would have thought woodpeckers. (Isn’t the Internet a blessing to those of us with the gift of curiosity!). Thank you!

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    1. I agree with you whole heartedly, thanks Sallie :) Thank you so much for your sweet comments.

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  12. Interesting to see those bluebells, so different to the European ones.
    Keep safe Diane

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    1. Very different Diane :) You keep safe too :)

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  13. Hello Denise,
    what a beautiful place to visit with the Bluebell's and Dutchman's Breeches, a fascinating flower I had never heard off previously.
    You both stay safe,
    John

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    1. Hello John, and thank you so much! I am glad you enjoyed these flowers. You both stay safe also :)

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  14. I enjoyed seeing these lovely Virginia bluebells so much, Denise. I've tried growing them in my own garden to no avail. You always take us to such pretty spots. Thank you. Whenever I think of bluebells, my heart thinks of English bluebells that are so beautiful and quite different than the VA bluebell as I'm sure you know better than I.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed them Martha Ellen :) I remember the English bluebells and yes, they are very different.

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  15. I have blue bells at the bottom of my back step but I don't know what kind they are . They are very, very early.

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    1. You must be having some good weather I hope?

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  16. These bluebells are quite different to the ones here in the UK ...
    Very interesting to see.
    That was a lovely walk.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Yes they are, I remember them well. Glad you enjoyed the walk. All the best to you too :)

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  17. Great pictures of the bluebells. I especially like the closeup picture of bluebells.

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    1. Thank you Linda, I'm happy you enjoyed them :)

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  18. It’s nice that weather is improving and that you are able to get out for walks. I don’t recall seeing Virginia bluebells when we lived in VA. The Dutchman’s Breeches were intriguing as was the tree fungus, but in different ways.

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    1. Hello Dorothy, it doesn’t surprise me you didn’t see them where you used to live. I never did either in other areas in Virginia. Glad you found the others interesting :)

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  19. Good morning Denise.
    Good pictures of beautiful flowers. The color patches of it look like bits of heaven on earth.
    The wildflower called Dutchman's Breeches is beautiful and curious.
    Good weekend.
    Manuel

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    1. Thank you so much Cuco :) a continued good week and upcoming weekend to you also.

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