Spring Ephemerals

Spring is absolutely my favorite season. I just love watching tiny leaves and buds emerge. Somehow they bring me even more pleasure than seeing things in full bloom. Part of it is surely the temperature, which I find more agreeable in spring than in the heat of summer.

I take regular walks in the woods – Pfeiffer Nature Center’s woods, my own, and those belonging to friends and neighbors. Here’s what I found in the woods yesterday.

Spring beauties – their name says it all! Tiny, delicate flowers with deeply-colored petal veins, I have to tear myself away from studying them. Spring beauties are almost done blooming now, but you can still find some.

Trillium – white, painted, and the deep burgundy, which I know by the common name of wake-robin. With the white flowers the most common and the painteds the least, I find all the trilliums captivating.

Another beauty out right now is the wood anemone. Delicate white flowers wave atop broad green leaves, inviting me into the shade.

Although you may find some near you, in my woods, at least, the trout lilies are done.

But you can still pick a batch of leeks and saute them for supper. Or if you’re patient and have the know-how, go for some fiddleheads. Like all wild-food foraging, make sure you know what you’re doing before eating anything!

And if you think of picking wildflowers, make sure you first check to see if they’re protected. Even if they’re not, it’s always best to follow the 10-to-1 rule: leave 10 plants in an area where you pick 1. That way you ensure the next generation of plants.

Enjoy the beauty of spring, and let me know what blooms are tickling your fancy!

Peg Cherre, Nature Center Director

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