Watching the flowers grow

Tucked away behind Shelter No. 2 at Briggs Woods Park is a special area that leads hikers and wildflower enthusiasts on a trail filled with native flowers and plants. This week, there are plans for two guided tours along the wildflower trail with two local experts.

Jean Eells and Sharon Cline will be leading the tours on behalf of the Legacy Learning Boone River Valley.

Eells and Cline got to know each other a year ago and started doing occasional walks along the trail together.

“We thought this would be a good opportunity to share the wildflowers with others and to promote the Legacy Learning Boone River Valley,” Eells said. She added that the Legacy Learning Center has been very busy lately, hosting a wide variety of courses.

The walks are scheduled for Wednesday and Friday from 9 to 11 a.m. The cost is $5 per person and reservations are not necessary, according to Eells.

Cline said those taking part in the walk will have an opportunity to see many different types of wildflowers.

“Sadly, I think the hepatica have come and gone as we’re starting to see its foliage. But last week the trail was just awash with Dutchman’s Breeches. It’s a bonus year for Dutchman’s Breeches,” Cline said. “And the bluebells should be abundant by the time we do the wildflower walks.”

She added that other varieties will also be evident along the trail, including spring beauties, wild ginger, bloodroot and leeks.

“We’ll give them the goods on what we’ve learned about flowers in the past 20 years,” Eells said. The walk will involve identification of plants, but the guides will also talk about the natural history of the plants and how they fit into the local woodlands.

Cline and Eells encouraged those attending to wear sturdy shoes and to dress appropriately for the weather.

“We’re going to be outside for a couple hours so a jacket might be in order,” Eells said. She added that those who like to walk with a walking stick are invited to bring their own.

“And absolutely bring a camera,” she said. “We’ll take plenty of pauses for photos.”