A week ago, I found the Leatherwood flowers had broken through their furry buds to dangle small yellow trumpets in the Skidmore Woods.
The forest floor at Skidmore is green with sedges, including this narrow-leaved, early-blooming one, with its tousled head of yellow stamens and wispy little white threads of pistillate flowers lower down on the stem.
The hepatica festival is in full swing now in the Skidmore woods, where I found both round-lobed and sharp-lobed species, their flowers displaying most of the lovely colors this wildflower is known to bloom in. I thought this one was particularly remarkable because its whitish sepals were edged with deep pink. The more common color scheme for hepatica blooms is for the colored sepals to be edged with whitish "haloes."
Here was one of the round-lobed hepaticas displaying blooms of a lovely rich purple.
This pristinely white hepatica was blooming a few days ago at Orra Phelps Nature Preserve in Wilton.
I found this next hepatica just yesterday, Easter Sunday, at the Ballston Creek Preserve. It looks as if it couldn't make up its mind whether to produce white flowers or purple ones, so it compromised by producing white ones brushed with purple. Lovely!
I had gone to the Ballston Creek Preserve to see if the Carolina Spring Beauties were carpeting the forest floor there. I certainly was not disappointed! Thousands of them, each new cluster of pink-striped blooms more lovely than the last.
There were also thousands of Trout Lily's mottled green leaves all over the woods at Ballston Creek, but of all those thousands of plants, only a single one was bearing a flower. Just wait, though. Soon there will be a sea of these lovely yellow blooms, I imagine. Although I know that most plants never seem to bloom.
As I left the woods at Ballston Creek and came out onto a sunlit verge, there I saw a splendid profusion of Bloodroot in bloom right next to the road. What an incredibly beautiful flower, with pristine white petals arrayed symmetrically around a sunburst of golden stamens. A perfect flower to chance upon at Easter, its radiant bloom like a glorious ALLELUIA!!! made visible.
This last flower, which I found at the Orra Phelps Nature Preserve in Wilton, made me want to shout "Alleluia!" myself. For this is the first of our native violets to bloom. And I dearly love violets. This vividly lemon-yellow one is the Round-leaved Violet, and it opens wide its flowers before its leaves have even unfurled. Note that this yellow violet has basal leaves only.
We have another native yellow violet called Downy Yellow Violet, but that one has flowers of a paler hue, and its leaves grow from the same stems as the flowers. It also blooms later in spring than this one does. But all these early bloomers are sharing a single message -- that the wildflower season is now upon us in earnest. As I said before: Alleluia!