Well, it seems as though this coming weekend-Saturday July 11 and Sunday July 12-may be the weekend when most blooms can be seen all at once. As one can see from the pictures below (all taken on Thursday, July 9) there is, as usual in the grove, a variation in the progression of the flowers, depending on their location (and perhaps other mysterious factors). What that means is that there will still be some blossoms to see next weekend, but the main show will be over by then, especially considering the heat and humidity that seems to be headed our way.
One way to find a few more flowers is to watch the ground as you go along the trail. When you see dropped flowers on the ground, look up.There may be a few flowers still out over your head where there is generally more light. Or not.
Just about halfway through the Rhododendron Loop trail there is a bridge in full sun. This is, ironically, often where more flowers can be seen than the rest of the grove. I say ironically because these rhododendrons evolved to thrive in shady conditions. However, the way most plants respond to more light is to make more flowers. If you were to look at the leaves out there in the full sun, you may notice that they are yellowish, and some have brown spots. This is sunburn. The plants seem to do OK, but they don’t look so good. They really are better off in the shade.
As always, the bugs are thick in the grove, so come prepared.