It is still worth a trip to Rhododendron State Park to see the blooming Rhodo’s this weekend. There are a good number of flowers still out, and even a few that are just now opening. The majority of this year’s flowers, however, are spent and fallen to the ground.
As you can see from the pictures taken today, the show is still on at the grove in Fitzwilliam. Perhaps the cool wet July weather has extended the bloom time. Or not. This year has been showier than most. That being said, the main event is almost over. This weekend will be the last good one, but there will still be a few flowers to see by mid August.
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.
The hot weather we had during the last week or so seems to have sped up the process a little, but it still looks like mid-July will be “peak” bloom. As I have said before, the blooming period for these Rhododendrons starts towards the beginning of July and extends sometimes to mid August, so if you do not get there exactly on July 15, you won’t miss it.
As is usual, no big surprises this week at the grove. An early morning visit was relatively bug free, but they are thick enough. It is June, after all. A few mushrooms to be seen here and there, and a little bit of moisture in the drainage areas this week. A sign of the rains that we had, but still a long way to go before it is still not too dry.
One thing that sets this species apart from the more common cultivars is the extended season of blooming. Each cluster of flowers will last 2-3 weeks depending on the weather, but some clusters will come out earlier, and some will wait until early August before they open.
No big changes are evident on the Rhododendron front at the grove in Fitzwilliam. They are a native species (Rhododendron maximus) that will not start to bloom for another 2-3 weeks or so. For anybody who follows this blog, this is not anything new. The “peak” bloom normally happens around July 15 or so. So far, it does not look any different this year, but we will wait and see, eh?
A few commonly seen wildflowers are visible in the grove this week, but the Rhododendron maximus blossoms are not due for another 3 or 4 weeks. The leaf buds are beginning to grow out, but the flower buds are still pretty tightly wrapped up.
As dry and cool as it has been lately in the Monadnock region, it does not appear (yet, anyway) that the bloom at Rhododendron State Park will be affected. If, however, we don’t get some rain here soon, that may or may not change.