First Burst of Spring at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, Bucks County
Snow or no snow, chill or no chill, spring is inevitable. There’s no gainsaying the Vernal Equinox. Days lengthen. Ground thaws. Spring’s exquisite ephemerals (flowers that bloom only so long as the forest canopy is not leafed out) will soon be everywhere.
Bridge – From Winter TO WInter, Bowman’s
One of the privileges of hanging out with naturalists is that they know where to find first signs of spring.
First ‘Monk’s Cowl’ — Skunk Cabbage, Bowman’s
One of the disadvantages is that they know the names of everything, leaving you wondering if you’ll keep the difference between twinleaf and bloodroot this year.
In early April, beech leaves pale from almost copper or caramel to the hue of palomino horses. When they’ve turned to ivory, nearly white, they’ll fling themselves to the ground, providing acid atmosphere required for a healthy beech nut crop this year.
If you’re lucky enough to have naturalist/photographer friends, your lessons will be a merry marriage of art and science.
Toad Trillium Among Newly Dropped Beech Leaves
If not, you may use these images as a Field Guide to earliest ephemerals. Let me know what you’re finding where YOU are.
Twinleaf Emergence, Due Any Day Now
Tiny daffodils poked through rocks and snow this week. Closed, they looked like lemon snowdrops. Open, they are like stars fallen into my garden. Rescued from yet another storm, they grace tiny green glasses on my dining room table. So fragile in appearance — but I think they’re surviving/thriving far better than I this year!
In ‘just spring’ (e.e.cummings), when Christmas fern has yet to resurrect…
Wandering almost every trail at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, below New Hope, in Bucks County, this weekend, we found lesser celandine — invasive, spiky gold ground-hugging flowers everywhere. A few exclamation points of skunk cabbage presided beside the old pond and on Marsh Marigold Trail. In one patch of rare sunlight, a spray of bloodroot insisted that we rejoice in spring.
The next time we cross the Civilian Conservation Corps Bridge over Pidcock Stream, we should find green emergence, and even hints of yellow.
Meanwhile, the joy is in the quest, keeping all senses tuned to the slightest spring heralds. Early spring miracles include delighting in our fellowship – that there are any number of strong friends who are willing to brave brisk winds and brown surrounds, together, seeking spring.
Marsh Marigold Trail in the Birth of Spring
Again, I ask, what are YOU finding?