Rain, rain, go away! April's OVER! Now it's MAY! But the showers continue, day after day. Sigh!
I've begun to run out of shoes that aren't soggy, but I laced the driest ones up this past Monday to dash off to nearby Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail, hoping to fit in a walk between showers. And I nearly did, the rain holding off until I had only a few hundred yards left to dash to my car under a downpour.
This is an old photo of the west end of this two-mile-long trail, before it was raised and paved a couple of years ago to compensate for beaver-caused flooding of the trailside wetland.
But this photo still shows the birch-lined section of trail where I search for Nodding Trillium (Trillium cernua) each May. This lovely native wildflower hides beneath the trailside shrubs, and it's always a good idea to locate their early shoots, before the ferns and grasses grow high enough to disguise them.
I didn't really expect to find the Nodding Trillium blooming yet, but considering how cold it has been of late, I was surprised to see them as far advanced as I did, with swelling buds atop fully expanded leaves. (The flower buds will dangle beneath the leaves when they actually open.)
But I never could have missed the masses of Dog Violets (Viola labradorica) that carpeted the grass by the side of the trail. The flowers are such a pale lavender they almost appear to be translucent, which helps to distinguish this native species of violet from the much-deeper-purple Common Blue Violet. Another distinguishing feature is that these violets bear leaves on their flower stems (the Common Blues have basal leaves only), and the stipules that wrap the leaf nodes are sharply toothed.