I did go over to the Rhododendron grove today, but just as I got there, it started raining very hard. My camera is not weatherproof, so it stayed in the dry bag. I stayed for an hour or so, but the hard rain did not let up. No pictures from today, even though I went around the loop trail and got pretty wet. No bugs during the rain.
If you want a few images that show roughly what the current bloom status is – check out these 2 blogs written around the same time in the past 2 years:
Some flowers are out, and in some of the sunnier areas a lot of them are out. With all this rain and cooler temps, they will theoretically last a day or two longer, and by the middle of next week most should be out. Both this weekend and next weekend (7/17-18) will be good for viewing.
One thing you might notice is that most flowers at the grove have a pink blush to them that fades as they open. However, not all-indeed, some flowers are without any pink at all, even when starting out. Why is this? Not sure, but here are some theories:
- Different genetics-it is likely that what you see at the grove is largely one plant that over time has spread by laying down branches and rooting-“walking along,” so to speak. If so, this means that all of the flowers, being genetically identical, will be the same color, yes? So perhaps the ones without any pink are from a seedling with genetic makeup that has no pink in it.
- Another theory is that of environmental conditions-how much of all the different nutrients a particular plant has access to. And then there is moisture. Or perhaps a plant that is genetically predisposed to pink flowers was somehow altered as it grew. Far fetched? The nature of scientific study is to look at all possibilities, no matter how unbelievable they may seem.
Then, as I was leaving the area, I happened to glance over at the large Rhododendron bush close to Patch Cottage, and saw both (pinkish) flowers and (white with no hint of pink) flowers. Not on the same branch, but somehow connected nonetheless. Shows how much I know.
Maybe next Thursday it won’t be raining and I will take some pictures. Oh, but then the bugs will be out. Sigh. Life can be hard that way, eh?
Until next week,