Saturday, April 2, 2011

False Alarm!

False alarm! All those dire predictions of up to a foot of new snow yesterday never came true. We had a few flurries, but mostly rain and above-freezing temperatures. It got me hoping that maybe that rain washed away the old snow in the woods. Unfortunately, a trip to the Skidmore woods today relieved me of that fantasy. (Sigh!)

I did find a few dry areas, however, where last year's Hepatica leaves had kept their vivid color to mark the spot where this year's new blooms will arise.

And look what I found when I moved the leaf cover aside! All snug in their fuzzy buntings, these Hepatica buds will burst into bloom on the first warmish day. Which might even come this week. (Hope, hope.)

Encouraged by the sight of those almost-bursting buds, I hurried to a spot where early-blooming English Violets grow, and my heart did a little leap when I saw a bit of purple peeking out from under a leaf. A closer look revealed just a piece of purple trash, but I did find plump buds down under those leaves, as well.

Time to check on the Snow Trillium at Orra Phelps Nature Preserve. This tiny trillium earns its name not just for its snowy petals, but also because it blooms even while some snow remains in the woods. Ah, but note that I said some snow. Not heaps and heaps of it.

If you look at my blog post for March 25, a whole week and a day ago, and compare this scene, you can see that not much has changed. The only difference is, that snow is now softer. Post-holing up to mid-shin was no fun, so I didn't spend much time here prowling the woods once I learned that my search for Snow Trillium was futile.

On the way home, I stopped to say hello to this magnificent horse, standing stock-still as if mesmerized by the warmth of the sun. One of those giant breeds, perhaps a Belgian, he was really enormous and stolid as a statue. Standing this close to him, I could truly appreciate his size.

I also got a good look at his wooly stockings. And big wide feet.


June said...

I join you in being glad the snow did not come, despite the head cold that walloped me in its place.

What a beauty of a horse!

Anonymous said...

Uggs! How fashionable! :-) He is the epitome of solid! So glad the postholing is gone from here (I hope) - this weekend should help. I shall have to look for hepatica - I usually notice it after the blooms are gone, and there is a childhood memory associated with its identification - thanks for the heads up.

Louise said...

I wonder what breed that big guy is? He's beautiful, at any rate. You're seeing signs of Spring, just enough to tease. In the next couple of weeks, hopefully, it will start bursting out all over.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

June, I hope your head cold is disappearing more quickly than our snow cover this year.

That's a great concept, hike/giant: Uggs! Yes, I do see the look. Hope you find your hepatica. I found some buds just opening today.

Hi Louise, I was hoping maybe you could tell me what breed this horse is, since I know you are involved in horse rescues. My guess is that it's a Belgian, one of the biggest draught horses.