Wednesday, April 22, 2020


Oh my gosh, it is SO COLD!  Down into the 20s last night, and barely above 40 today, with winds gusting to over 20 miles per hour at times.  Spring sure seems to be taking a pause, just when the flowers were starting to come alive. Wondering how those flowers were bearing up, I donned my fleece coat and wool scarf and headed out to the Skidmore Woods to check on them this blustery afternoon.

Well, it seems that the wind had blown the petals off of the Bloodroot, since all that remained of the plants I could find were stems sticking up from folded leaves.  I did find plenty of Trout Lilies, but most had flowers that were barely open.  Were they still in the process of opening?  Or had they closed up again from the cold?

I bet it was the latter, since I did find this beautiful group wide open, where the sun was warming their snug niche in the shelter of the roots of a tree.

Here was a Trout Lily still in tight bud, thrusting up out of a compact mound of tightly curled moss. The moss looked so odd and unfamiliar to me, I took a closer look. Huh! It looked as if the long pointed leaves of the moss had curled up tight, as if each stem was wrapping its arms around itself as if shivering from the cold.  At closer range, the moss looked like Atrichum undulatum to me, a moss I know temporarily shrivels up when deprived of moisture.  With that cold wind gusting so hard today, it would be quite desiccating, so it did make sense to me that the moss would react this way.

I found few other flowers blooming in the woods today, with the exception of Spicebush shrubs that were sporting little puffs of bright-yellow blooms along their otherwise bare branches.  These appear to be male flowers, with anthers protruding.  Female flowers are borne on separate shrubs, but I could not find any female flowers today.

No Columbine flowers yet, but I did find their scalloped leaves, including this pretty cluster, so remarkably purple!

The Mayapple shoots, folded tight as furled umbrellas, were already pushing up through the leaf litter, the two-leaved plants bearing green flower buds, which were peeking out from between the unfolding leaves. As the plant matures, the leaves will surmount the single large white flower, which will bloom beneath the shade of the large flat leaves.

What a surprise it was, to find these fat buds of Large-flowered Bellwort, the dangling yellow flowers already pushing through their green bracts.  Considering that we're due for another sub-freezing night tonight, I wish these beautiful flowers had waited another week to emerge from the safe shelter of their buds.

1 comment:

The Furry Gnome said...

It's been colder over here!