Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

Illinois is the Prairie State, but if you're lucky enough to have access to a wooded area, this is the perfect week to explore it.  Spring ephemerals are in their prime, and, as their name implies, their beauty is short-lived....

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Hepatica is in full bloom right now.  I love this wildflower especially, not just because it's an early treat, but because they come in so many colors -- white and pink and purple and blue -- sometimes all right next to each other.  Bloodroot is also in full bloom in the woodlands, its large white flowers standing out against the brown of last year's leaves and green of emerging leaves.   It's leaves -- themselves an interesting shape -- are still curled around the stems; the stems show the red liquid inside that gives the plants their name. 

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Just starting to bloom are trout lilies -- their splotchy, trout-skin leaves are all over -- spring beauties, and anenomes.  

May apples and trilliums have not yet flowered, but their unique foliage is popping up.  

If you only have access to prairies, there are some early flowers there, too.  Pasqueflower is in full bloom right now, with its purple flowers and fuzzy stems.  This is always one to which I look forward; Leopold's quotations makes it seem significant to me.  I know I quote him each year at this time, but I'll still remind you of this passage from ASCA: "For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television, and the chance to find a pasque-flower is a right as inalienable as free speech."

Prairie Smoke is also starting to bloom!

Also... the first tick of the season was seen a week and a half ago, but they're out in full force now.  I pulled several off kids today.

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Spring Beauty
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trout lily
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