As the “garden variety” rhododendrons are a bit past “peak” bloom and winding down, the native Rhododendron maximus found in Fitzwilliam, NH are still almost a month away from full bloom. It will by no means be a banner year for the blooms at the grove, but still a pretty good show. Starting about the second week in July and (depending on the weather) lasting a week or two, the flowers will be out in full.
In the photo included, there are several items to look at. On the left of the picture, there is an example of last year’s flower husk with new leaves growing out of it. No flowers there this year. On the right, there is a conical flower bud that will bloom this year, and at the top of the picture is a flower bud that did not survive the winter and will not bloom.
Whether or not the flowers are blooming, Rhododendron State Park is always a pretty place any time of the season. Between the shade of the large Hemlocks, White Pines and the large evergreen leaves of the Rhododendrons, the lighting in the grove has been described as “magical.” It certainly has a tropical feel to it.
The mosquitos, as usual this time of year, are out in full force at the grove, so be prepared.
The issue of pets on the trails is confusing, but if you examine the information kiosk located at the trailhead next to the two granite posts, you will see that although pets ARE allowed on the trail that leads to Little Monadnock Mtn., pets are NOT allowed on the Rhododendron Loop trail itself, which actually is not part of the access trail to Little Monadnock (also known as the Monadnock-Metacomet trail).
Rhododendron State Park is not staffed on a daily basis, but is visited regularly once a week for parking lot, trail and pit toilet cleaning and maintence. There is a donation box located to the right of the information kiosk. Please consider a donation when you use this public land.
Until next week,