Well, the bloom season at Rhododendron State Park is coming to a close. This will be the last report for the year as the grove's quick bloom season this year is wrapping up. Here is Ted's report from his visit this morning:
Bloom season is pretty much over for this year. Between the early start and the hot dry weather we have been experiencing, all but a very few flowers here and there are finished. As you can see in the photos, some (not all) of the plants are wilting as well. Rhododendrons will normally curl their leaves to conserve moisture (commonly seen in the winter), but this is actual wilt from lack of moisture. Hope that we get some rain soon.
The plant in the photo (not the rhododendron) is an orchid in full bloom that I found next to the trail. Fairly common and not native to this area, this not-so-showy but quite pretty orchid (“helleborine”) tends to spread by seed. It sometimes shows up unannounced, but seems to favor shady moist places such as the grove. Not necessarily “invasive” but it might be called “weedy.”
The grove is usually a good place to look for mushrooms during July. This year, at least so far, there is not much to speak of, mainly due to the dry conditions. July is not over yet, however, and things can change. Another good reason to hope for rain.
Even with all this dry weather, the mosquitoes are still very active, so bring bug dope.
Thank you for your support of New Hampshire State Parks. We hope that you had a chance in the small window of opportunity this summer to view the rhododendrons in bloom. Regardless, as some of you may know by now, the Park is an enjoyable place to visit nearly any time of the year with many special features to be seen.
For any questions, comments, or concerns regarding Rhododendron State Park, please call Monadnock State Park at 603-532-8862.
Until next time,