About 40 people arrived at Mill Creek Trail on Saturday, April 2 to participate in Buffalo National River Partner’s 5th Annual Spring Fling Hike and North Central Arkansas Master Naturalist’s Wildflower Walk. The two groups combined to bring the event to people who wanted to learn more about Arkansas’ plethora of spring wildflowers.
Many thanks to the leaders of the hike, BNRP’s Pam Stewart and Linda Glass and NWAMN’s Ellen Chagnon, Amy Johnson, and Anita Hayden. Hikers were divided into several groups, each lead by an expert in wildflowers.
Along the first part of the trail, groups identified many invasive species including Dead Nettle, Henbit, and Perilla, then plenty of Chickweed, some Garlic Mustard, further on Vinca, and Privet, and Japanese Honeysuckle. Then several other aliens, Flowering Quince, Daffodils, Day Lily,. all a result of early settlers homesteads in the area.
Of the native plant species, the group found a Golden Currant in bloom hanging off a bluff. They also identified Trout Lily, Bloodroot, Toothwort, Wild Geranium, Spring Beauty, Yellow and Purple Violets, Blue Phlox, Smooth Phlox, Dogwood, Redbud, and Bladdernut all in bloom. We saw one leaf of an Adam and Eve Orchid. The leaf comes up in the autumn, lasts through the winter, and withers before the bloom appears.
From Mill Creek Trail, many in the group ventured into Harrison to see spring flowers at Baker Prairie. Everyone on the hike mentioned that it was an enjoyable, educational and entertaining experience and look forward to moreevents such as this.