I just can't resist another close-up photo of these exquisite little flowers with their dainty purple stripes.
I found some Hepaticas there as well, although in a much more confined area, just a small patch near the marsh where the herons have their nests.
I almost missed seeing these Ramps, camouflaged as they were by surrounding patches of Trout Lily leaves. I wish I knew where to find some that are not on nature preserve land, where harvesting is strictly prohibited.
These winter-dried fungi had me fooled for a minute, as I reached for the branch that I thought was blooming with some kind of flower I'd never seen before.
After lunch I walked out through the Skidmore woods, exploring areas where I knew certain flowers would bloom. It won't be long before these Trout Lily buds open their bright-yellow "tepals" -- three petals, three sepals of almost identical color and shape, so it's hard to tell which is which.
Nearby, little plants of Wood Anemone had just pushed up through the dead leaf litter, with buds fully formed and ready to open with the next stretch of warm weather.
The Blue Cohosh buds have already opened to reveal their very odd-shaped flowers, the most obvious part of which are the bright yellow anthers clustered in the center around a green pistil. Those little green worms that circle these reproductive parts are the actual petals of this flower, the outermost purple fringe being the sepals.
Unfortunately, not all aspects of spring are that delightful. The Deer Ticks are out in full force already, which I discover after almost every walk in the woods. These are two of the four I found on me yesterday, already embedded in my skin. I found one more in the dryer's lint screen, after I threw my hiking clothes in there to blast them with tick-killing heat. Damn! I wonder why they can't develop Frontline for us humans.