Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Riverwoods Revives

Trailing Arbutus has opened at last! I found today just one little cluster of tender pink blossoms nestled among the sunwarmed rocks that jut out into the Hudson at Moreau. Dear sweet fragrant blooms, we've been waiting for you. Your appearance signals the real start of spring along the riverbanks. Now that the flower season begins in earnest, we can think about maybe putting the canoe in the water.

See, the river is mostly open, with just a few sheets of thick ice remaining in some of the bays.

The surrounding woods is springing to life with new shoots of brilliant green.

Maple boughs bearing rosy blooms lean over the smooth green water.

Shadblow buds are ready to burst, downy with baby fuzz.

Even the flies are things of beauty, like this handsome syrphid fly in the genus Helophilus, all decked out in his tiger stripes and grown fat on burgeoning pollen.

And dear tiny Draba verna, invisible except to those who diligently seek it out, it thrives in hardpacked arid sand where few other flowers will grow. Famed naturalist Aldo Leopold has written a wonderful tribute to Draba, which I quote in the post below.

I also want to refer my readers to some beautiful poems inspired by nature, written by Emily Reiffel. She wrote to tell me my posts about ground bees had inspired a new poem, and her site, called Jewelweed, can be accessed by clicking here.


Anonymous said...

I remember my grandmother mentioning the finding of trailing arbutus in the springtime - thanks for the memory - I've never seen it, but will keep looking - I think the Giant is too well traveled.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

You have to look carefully for arbutus, hike/giant, because the flowers, which are quite small, hide under the leaves. And the leaves often look quite ragged, since they spent the winter under the snow. I find it growing quite happily along well-traveled routes. Look for it on semi-vertical surfaces like banksides.

Anonymous said...

Great! Thanks! I'll keep an eye out!