For a couple of years now, the water level in Mud Pond has been so low, the pond lived up to its name by being mostly mud. Here's what it looked like last summer. No open water at all!
I didn't find many flowers today, but these Shadblow boughs, hanging over the water with their fat pink buds, looked as pretty as if they were blooming.
And I DID find a few Shadblow flowers in bloom, although the dark dampness kept them from opening wide. I love how fuzzy their bracts and pedicels are, like little wooly coats to keep the blossoms warm.
I guess I missed the American Hazelnuts female flowers this year. I've been searching for them each week all month, and not a single tiny red female tuft could I find, although the male catkins swung from every twig. But today I was lucky to find quite similar tiny red female tufts on the Sweetfern shrubs.
I also found some rosy-red female flowers of Red Maple gracefully arcing away from the twigs.
On the way home, I took Parkhurst Road past the Orra Phelps Nature Preserve in Wilton, and there in the woods just off the road, a big patch of Bloodroot thrust up from the forest floor. Their sunny-centered flowers were closed to protect their pollen from the rain, but their snow-white blooms still shone in the dark of the woods.