Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A May Day Floral Bouquet

Following a couple of lovely warm days, Mother Nature celebrated May Day by exploding into bloom.  Everywhere I looked today, from the cracks in the sidewalk to Yaddo's formal gardens to the Orra Phelps Nature Preserve, new flowers were burgeoning.

As I walked near my house this morning, I spied this patch of radiantly blue Corn Speedwell growing in a patch of dirt next to the sidewalk.   Although each flower is hardly bigger than the head of a pin, this little weed makes up for what it lacks in size by the intensity of its color.

Nearby was this cluster of Thyme-leaved Sandwort spreading across the gravel, with flowers only a little bit bigger than those of the little speedwell.

The artists' retreat called Yaddo is famous for its formal rose gardens, but I go there to enjoy the marvelous profusion of weeds in the lawn, including this abundant carpet of Common Blue Violets.

There's also a shade garden at Yaddo, planted with many native wildflowers.  This is the only place I believe I will ever be granted the privilege of witnessing  the rare Twinleaf in bloom -- and then only if I happen upon it during the very, very brief period it comes into flower.  Today was my lucky day.

I next ventured out to the Orra Phelps Nature Preserve in Wilton, and there I found the banks of the stream teeming with Sessile-leaved Bellwort dangling its pale-yellow flowers.

A bit behind schedule because of our colder-than-normal spring, the ephemeral flowers will all be rushing to come into bloom now before the forest canopy closes in and shades them out.  Already, the leaves of understory trees are unfurling from their shiny buds.  And what adorable leaves they are, so tender and soft and often covered with silken down. 

The leaves on this Hornbeam sapling were so furry I almost wanted to pet them.  Their very hairiness caused me to believe they are the leaves of Hop Hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) rather than American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), although the bark was still smooth, it being a very young tree.  The bark on a mature Hop Hornbeam is very shaggy.

Here's another photo showing the extra-furry underside of the leaf, which would support my guess that this is Hop Hornbeam.  Dendrologists, please chime in.


June said...

Furry soft little leaves, pristine tiny flowers. All of a sudden the world is full of color and movement!
We're surrounded by miracles.

Allan Stellar said...

Your camera work is amazing. Try as I may, I just can't get the quality of photos that you get. Wish I knew how you accomplish that.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Nice to hear from you, June and Allan. Regarding the camera work, Allan, it IS the camera that works. My little Canon S95 takes terrific photos with no work on my part. Except I do have to play all kinds of tricks to make it focus on what I want it to, sometimes.