Searching for Spring in 2018

Despite the cold, late spring, I started searching for wild flowers in late April.  The search is a rite of spring, even if there’s snow in the air and it makes no sense whatsoever.

The flower buds of willow shrubs were on hold (April 27),

WillowShrub27Apr18#2838E2c8x10

As were the new shoots of False Hellebore after a freezing rain (April 29).

Hellebore29Apr18#2879E2c8x10

Desperate for color in a wintry April landscape, I detoured to the edge of a wetland and discovered a reliable indicator of the advancing season: Skunk Cabbage (April 29).

SkunkCabbage29Apr18#2865E2c8x10

Finally, the weather took a serious turn for the better. The season of renewal erupted, with April events spilling over into early May. Migrating birds, black flies, wildflowers, baby animals, mud…..Spring!

Bloodroot4May18#3024E3c8x10

Bloodroot

Trail5May18#3040E2c4x6

A Rails-to-Trails recreation path, with willow shrubs in bloom (May 5)

WillowShrub3May18#2999E5c5x7

The early blooms of willow shrubs (May 3), a lifeline for hungry bees

MarshMarigold5May18#3038E2c5x7

Marsh Marigold (May 5)

StreamOxbow5May18#3123E2c8x10

A tumbling brook, swollen by melting snow and frequent rain (May 5)

WhiteTrillium5May18#3054E3c8x10

White Trillium (May 5)

RedTrillium5May18#3086E3c8x10

Red Trillium (May 5)

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

Spring Colors in Macro

Many of the early spring wildflowers can be found on short walks in woodland habitats where soils are reasonably moist, fertile and undisturbed.

In this immediate area, the Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) bloom has peaked, Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum) is approaching full bloom, and the flower buds of Red Trillium (Trillium erectum) are just starting to open. The vivid colors of these species are a welcome contrast to our extended period of overcast skies and cool, rainy weather!

TroutLily1May14#033Ec8x10

Trout Lily 1May2014

Bloodroot3May14#018E2c8x10

Bloodroot 3May2014

TroutLily1May14#036E2c8x10

Trout Lily 1May2014

Bloodroot1May14#052E2c5x7

Bloodroot 1May2014

TrilliumRed3May14#032Ec5x7

Red Trillium 3May14

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

Wildflowers – an Early Spring Favorite

Unseasonably warm and dry weather, coupled with the leaf-out of woody plants, means the spectacular bloom of the early spring wildflowers will soon be a memory. While it’s still fresh in my mind, I must cover one of my favorite spring “ephemerals”: Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis).

Bloodroot is a delicate but showy wildflower found growing on rich woodland sites. A single white flower, its stalk partially enveloped by a single, deeply lobed leaf, is distinctive. A broken stalk “bleeds” orange-red, hence the name. Regarding the term “ephemeral: the day after these photos were taken the bloom had deteriorated significantly.

Bloodroot8Edit

Bloodroot2May13#072E

Bloodroot2May13#074E

Bloodroot2May13#083E