Tag Archives: Trout Lily

Turning

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A little rain, a little snow…just enough moisture, in combination, to set things in motion this May. This is my favorite time of the year!

In the woods, the trillium are showing off their bright white three-petal blossoms. Wild ramps scent the air with the smell of onion, trout lilies bow their little yellow heads over crowds of their speckled leaves. Tiny yellow pantaloons are showing up among the airy foliage of the Dutchman’s Breeches. Spring Beauties display their little flowers on top of  wispy green stems.  Those who know where to look – and have time to gather – are finding morel mushrooms.

The trees, which will settle in to a fairly regular color of green before the end of the month, are now just unfurling their leaves in a riot of different shades. The serviceberry bush at the front of the house is covered with white blossoms. Lilacs and snowball bush will be next. The forsythia in the side yard offers a bright pop of color in front of the grapevines. By the time it’s done blooming, the spirea will have taken over.

Around and under the bushes, jonquils, daffodils and narcissus are playing a relay to keep their many shades of yellow  as long as possible. When one group is ready to hang their heads, the next one takes over. Among them, clusters of tulips add shades of red and pink. Hundreds of grape hyacinth around the yard and through the flower beds add the perfect contrast with their regal blue.

Looking ahead, iris and peonies are showing their foliage, and will be ready to flower just when the earlier blooms are finished for the season. The stalwart daylilies are getting  ready to take over later, and will last until the first frost in the fall.

Asparagus us coming slowly this year, probably due to the dry weather. I pulled enough rhubarb yesterday to make one pan of rhubarb crisp; if we don’t get rain soon, that may be it for the season. Strawberries are covering their bed with white blossoms that offer the promise of fruit.

This year is like every other: spring comes in, filled with hope, and hints of the good days ahead. Always, I trust in the promises of spring.

 

Signs of the Season

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ImageLast week I photographed snow in the woods here on Beaver Island.

The snow was soft and definitely on its way out, but still mounded impressively. I showed the photos around when I went downstate last weekend. They weren’t as shocking as I thought they’d be, as it seems Winter lingered long all through the state of Michigan.

Today, the first of May, I think the snow is finally all gone on Beaver Island.

It was a shirtsleeves kind of day, with a nice breeze and warm sunshine. .

Walking the dogs today, I went looking for signs of Spring.

In my yard, the daffodils have burst into bloom by the kitchen door. Crocus are up in clusters, scattered through the front yard. The Siberian Squill has been blooming for a week or more, in amongst the drifts of snow. Hyacinths opened today!

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The woods, from the trail, look pretty bland. You have to look carefully to see the hint of green through the dead leaves blanketing the forest floor.

So, today it was off the path and through the woods, to get a close-up view of the changing season.

The wild leeks, called ramps, are the brightest and most visible color. Though they won’t be ready to harvest for a few weeks yet, their onion-like scent already perfumes the air.

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The feathery foliage of the Dutchman’s Breeches are poking up along the edges of the tree line. Soon their flowers, each like a pair of yellow pantaloons, will hang in the shade of the lacy green leaves.

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Spring Beauties, the tiny little flowers whose color is determined by the soil, are palest purple in my woods. In other areas they are pink, white or blue. The flower is not even an inch in diameter. The stem is as fine as thread. According to my aunt, now in her eighties, when she was a child, they picked Spring Beauties by the basketful. They wove them into a crown for the statue of the Blessed Mother, for the May celebration. They made them into floral swags for the children making First Communion to carry.

“You can’t do that anymore,” she told me, “now they’re endangered.”

“No wonder” I replied.

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Trout Lilies will eventually have a small, lily-like flower. Now, in early Spring, they show only the leaves that, in shape and color, resemble a speckled trout.

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Wild Strawberries are up!

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And, finally, the Princess Pine. It used to be harvested by the peck at Christmastime, to make pretty, long-lasting wreaths. Though it’s still plentiful here on Beaver Island, it is protected in this state.

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As one additional mark of the season, though I didn’t get a photo to document it, the Sandhill Cranes have returned to the pond.

This must be Spring!