Last weekend while I was hiking in Cades Cove off of the roadways and trails I noticed in a few places especially on warmer southern exposures that daffodils shoots were poking up through the ground by as much as 2 inches and 2 days ago in the Sugarlands bud formations were evident in a field of daffodils at an abandoned CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) site off trail.
Yesterday I hit the jackpot in Cades Cove - the legendary daffodils planted by the CCC at the CCC campsite on the right just after the Missionary Baptist Church are already blooming!
Some of these daffodils (what the natives here call "buttercups") were planted to spell out the CCC company name and number and the blooming plants and their distinctive green round stalks spell out "Co. 5427".
While only a few of the daffodils/ buttercups are blooming right now in Cades Cove, they will keep increasing in intensity and beauty of the next few weeks.
Some of the brown dormant grasses and weeds in the fields of Cades Cove and the rest of the Great Smoky Mountains national park are already starting to green in a little with all of the unseasonably warm weather we have had in the Smokies.
I have to correct myself. As long as the plants in any part of the park are native and not exotic plants as a naturalist I know there is no such thing as weeds in a national park or Biosphere such as the GSMNP.
These pretty little yellow daffodils that are blooming on Cades Cove right now have both a yellow cup with slight frilling and outer flower pedal in the same shade of yellow and are actually scientifically called Narcissus.
While they are not native wildflowers, at this point since they can be found at various home sites and old CCC campsites they should be listed in the "Wildflowers of the Smokies" pocket filed identification handbook as well as other flowering plants such a yucca.
While these flowers are pretty to look at, you are not allowed to pick the flowers or remove the plants. You should also take care to try to not walk on or sit on these pretty little plants so they can be enjoyed by others - and oh yes - you will be obeying a federal law.
Want to help protect the native plants on the Great Smoky Mountains national park? Join me next Saturday February 21 in Deep Creek North Carolina for Non Native plant eradication - we need more volunteers!