Rhododendron Bloom Report: June 26, 2017

Hi folks –

What with the weather being more typical (cooler at night) for a New England June (whatever that means), the rhododendrons at Rhododendron State Park in Fitzwilliam, NH are still on track for the middle of July being the greatest amount of flowers in full bloom for the season. There are quite a few flower buds that are currently closed up but on their way to opening fully, while at the same time in some places you can see flowers that are not only opened fully but already past, and beginning the annual petal drop.

Getting ready to pop!
A close up of an early but small cluster of flowers in full bloom.

Fear not – by this coming “holiday” weekend there will be plenty of blooms to see, and even next weekend (July 8-9) will not be too late to still see lots of flowers. By July 15-16 there will be lots of flowers to be seen, but the main event might be a bit early this year, as it has shown to be in the past 2-3 seasons. But, as always, there will be a few flowers to see here and there as late as the first week in August. This theory of mine is contingent on the weather that we get in the next month (and whatever other mysterious factors play a part). If it turns cold and rainy or hot and dry all these different conditions will affect the plants somehow. How’s that for a prediction? What I probably should say is “I don’t know what will happen.”

Too much direct sunlight but still unexpanded for the most part (why is this? I don’t know.)
An early cluster so far along that some petals are beginning to drop-unusual but not unheard of.
More typical condition for the end of June (the substance on the leaves is mostly Pine pollen which will eventually wash off, decompose and become available “food” for all the plants nearby

Today at the grove I met a family on the trail with a dog who felt confident that pets were allowed at Rhododendron State Park – they had “looked it up online and the website said it was ok.” “And just what website was that?” I thought to myself, but I kept quiet. The reality is confusing to most people – only some of the trail system is open to pets, but the Rhododendron Loop Trail is not. This is clearly marked and easy to sort out from the literature and maps posted at the trail head. The only trail at Rhododendron State Park that pets are allowed on is the trail that leads to Little Monadnock mountain. There are quite a few rhododendrons along that trail – it goes along one side of the main grove. Please remember that pets must be leashed at all times in any public place such as Rhododendron State Park, and nothing should be left behind.

Posted at the trail head
Posted at the trail head

Even with all this great summer weather we are getting, the biting insects are rather numerous at the grove, so come prepared.

Until next week,
Ted Lenk


Ted Lenk

Ted Lenk is an NH State Park Volunteer who checks in regularly at Rhododendron State Park.

2 thoughts to “Rhododendron Bloom Report: June 26, 2017”

  1. As a State Park staff member i would ask that you do speak to people about their dogs. If not you, then who? We are regularly frustrated and annoyed on walking or hiking trails by dog owners who don’t think the rules apply to them. My husband was even bitten by a dog whose owner refused to leash it despite standing in front of a sign that indicated that a leash was required – her answer was “we walk here all the time (without a leash), and besides I only have two leashes” She had three uncontrollable dogs!

  2. I want to say thank you to your dedication for making these reports. I wait and follow these religiously every year. Really appreciate the hard work you do. 🙂

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