Mother’s Day Gems

Spring in the North, you gotta love it! Galleries of world class images can’t fully capture the moments; there are too many intangibles whirling around, evading descriptive words and fancy gear. The last 72 hours have left me with a flood of memories, some made a bit more lasting with visual reminders. Mom would have loved this post!

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Trout Lily, with insect pollinators

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Red-tailed Hawk

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White (Large-flowered) Trillium

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White Trillium

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Chipmunk

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Red (Wake-robin, Birthroot, Purple) Trillium

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Red Trillium

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Turkey Vulture gliding in to its tree-top roost

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!

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Trout Lily 1May2014

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Bloodroot 3May2014

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Trout Lily 1May2014

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Bloodroot 1May2014

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Red Trillium 3May14

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

Trout Lily

Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum; also called Adder’s Tongue, Dogtooth Violet) is a common, widespread wildflower that blooms in early spring. I find it growing on a wide variety of sites, including rich woodlands, forest edges and old, abandoned pastureland succeeding to woody plants.

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Viewed closely when the lighting and background are just right, the nodding yellow flowers with reflexed petals are a beautiful woodland sight. A pair of mottled leaves, somewhat resembling the dorsal coloring of a Brook Trout, are prominent at the base of the flower stalk. Trout Lily is colony-forming and it is not unusual to find dozens of crowded plants in a small area, devoid of flowers. I can’t explain this phenomenon completely, but the lack of flowers is reportedly a function of crowding, plant age, site quality and/or browsing by herbivores.

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All photos by NB Hunter