Wednesday, March 8, 2017
The First Flower of . . . What?
In other years, I've waxed all excited when I first find Skunk Cabbage swelling its spathes in area wetlands. Well, I found some today along Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail just outside Saratoga Springs, but I wasn't really all that happy to see them. Now, why would I not be happy to find the first flower of spring? Maybe it's because I'm still waiting for winter to happen. It's kind of hard to feel joy about the end of winter when we never really had any winter to speak of. Oh, we had a few sub-freezing days, but they were interspersed with long stretches of other days well above freezing. Yeah, we had a little snow. Maybe a foot? I mean, ONLY a foot, perhaps 12 inches, the whole winter long. And now it's long gone, as this view of Bog Meadow trail today reveals.
Those red-speckled bulbous spathes were not just the early shoots, either. A peek inside revealed the spadices already ripe and spilling pollen.
I had planned to walk a good portion of Bog Meadow Trail today, looking for other signs of spring like pussy willow catkins or mole mudpiles. It was a mild, sunny day when I started out, but I hadn't walked more than a quarter mile when the sky grew super dark and the wind came up with a roar, tossing the treetops around and breaking off branches that came thudding down to the ground around me. It was pretty scary, surrounded as I was by trees that could kill me. So I hurried back to my car. And no sooner did I reach the safety of my car, but the wind stopped blowing and the sky cleared. Did I mention we're having some crazy weather this year?