Apr 13 2010

Profile Image of Walt

The First Flowers

Posted at 12:17 pm under Blog Post

I went for a hike yesterday hoping to find some spring peepers.  After all, it’s that time of year.  I know of a few small ponds right next to the Rail Trail where they thrive.  So made a beeline for them, encouraged by the appearance of a couple turtles in wetlands along the way.  But the ponds were quiet when I reached them.  None of those joyous little frogs were around.

Much to my surprise, I found purple trillium in bloom instead.  At first I thought I was imagining things.  The broad leaves of that wildflower do unfurl in mid-April, but the flowers usually remain tight-fisted until May.  Not this year.  With the season a good two weeks ahead of schedule, the trillium flowers have opened up.  Just nature’s way of saying there is no hard and fast schedule, I suppose.  Not that I’m complaining.  Spring can never come too early for me.

A bit later, I found trout lily in full bloom, along with a little patch of spring beauty.  I dropped down on my knees and stuck my nose in those tiny, candy-striped flowers.  One good whiff of spring beauty and everything changes.  Suddenly nature has unfolded in all its wonder and wild beauty, and I am a complete dope for it.  One good whiff of that intoxicating scent and an entire winter’s worth of existential angst pops like a balloon.

What was I thinking about?  I forgot.  But through the woods a flash of bright green caught my eye so I headed that direction.  On a south-facing slope, of course, more wildflowers bloomed in a sprawling patch of leeks.  I dropped to my knees for a second whiff of spring beauty but the pungent odor of wild onions overwhelmed the sweeter smell.  Amid the leeks, Dutchman’s breeches arose, along with round-lobed hepatica.  No doubt about it, spring has come early this year.

I suppose I should be concerned.  There have been enough late autumns and early springs in recent years to make even the most hardened skeptic consider climate change.  But right now, I can’t go there.  Right now, all I see are wildflowers in bloom and the beginning of another growing season.  Right now I see the forest turning green again, slowly coming back to life after a long sleep, and all I can do is rejoice like peepers reveling in the season.

Maybe next time out I’ll hear those little frogs.  But for now, the first flowers are more than enough.

No responses yet

Comments are closed at this time.