Thursday, April 6, 2017

What A Difference a Week of Rain Makes!

Rain, rain, and MORE rain!  We've had so much rain the last few days, the creeks are starting to flood.  But one good thing that rain has done, is to melt all the snow.  Just one week ago, the woods at Orra Phelps Nature Preserve in Wilton still lay deep in snow and ice.  The trail was so sloppy and slippery I turned around and went home.

But see what the same trail looked like today -- ALL that snow is GONE!  Even though the day was rainy, I still found this trail quite inviting, and I started down toward the creek that runs through the heart of this lovely preserve.

Here's what that creek looked like one week ago today:  ice-covered and heaped with snow.

What a difference a week of rain makes!

Another view of that same creek from one week ago, still locked in wintry ice:

Same part of that creek today, rushing and tumbling over the rocks, singing a song of spring:

I had come to Orra Phelps last week, wondering if -- hope beyond hope! -- the Snow Trillium might have been blooming.  They're not named Snow Trillium for nothing, for yes, some years I have found them in bloom while snow still lay in some shaded hollows.  But last week's deep snow cover was more than even they could cope with.  Today, I rather doubted they'd yet be up, but I just wanted to see if the ground where they grow was bare of snow.  So wow!  Was I surprised! These little guys sure don't waste any time.  Just buds, as yet, but this coming weekend's sunny warmth will coax them to open wide.  But they won't grow any bigger.  What a miniature masterpiece of a spring wildflower!

By now, the rain was coming down hard.  Rather than hang around in a soggy woods, I got in my car and drove on over to the Corinth Mountain Road, wondering if the pretty little waterfall that plunges through rocky boulders close to the road was full of rowdy water.  Yes, indeed it was.

Continuing on to Spier Falls Road, I drove along the banks of the Hudson River, noting how the river was filled to its brim with snowmelt and rainwater.  Just before I reached the Spier Falls Dam, I pulled over, waited for the rain to stop coming down in torrents, and then got out to admire this long lively waterfall plunging down the mountain.  Another gift from our days of rain.


Woody Meristem said...

Wish we had snow trillium down here, but we don't. The high water surely does make for some beautiful photos.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Woody, the BONAP distribution maps show Snow Trillium (T. nivale) as present throughout Pennsylvania. Does that contradict what your state plant atlas asserts? You have to look for it very early, as soon as the snow has begun to melt in the woods. And it is unbelievably small, so it's quite possible to overlook it. Of course, it's not supposed to be present in NY at all, but a local botanist planted it in her woods and it has thrived there for many decades.