Nature Blog Network
Showing posts with label marshmarigold. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marshmarigold. Show all posts

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Yellow Day (Plus)

Celandine poppies first opened yesterday, and are all open today!
The marsh marigolds opened fully sometime this week...
Yellow maple flowers and yellow willow flowers give many trees a spring-green appearance.
Wild ginger's hidden burgundy flowers bloom among the leaf litter.
If this is any indication, my evil plot to have jewelweeds take over my side yard is working!

The most phenologically significant bird sighting I've had is baby goslings. I saw the brown and yellow fluff balls from the driver's seat of the car, however, so I didn't get a photo. But the egret was so close yesterday, I took its picture; and the tree swallow so shimmery in the sun...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

In My Yard...

Bloodroot is blooming. I am pleased -- there are 7 flowers in 3 bunches, all doing very well despite the aggressive campaign being waged against them by creeping charlie.
Now, normally I wouldn't put a photo of what I just sketched. Besides being redundant, it only serves to highlight the inaccuracies in my drawing. Especially this sketch... I had to sit farther away than I prefer from the plant -- I like to be able to touch it, move my head around to different angles, etc. But I didn't want to crush a bunch of other stuff, like baby mayapples or uvularia or wild ginger or trout lilies, or even the Dutchman's breeches foliage that I found in 3 places in the yard but none with any hope of flowering this year. Anyway, to get to the point... a bee landed on the flower while I was sketching, and I got a picture of it, so I included it. Also the same bee landed on a clump of hepatica.

Also blooming in my yard...

spring beauties and Greek anenomes. A lot of fiddleheads are poking up, too... I tried to sketch the spring beauties, but only proved what I've known for a while and re-discovered yesterday. I can only do one sketch a day. Or at least without a significant break. I don't know what gets tires, my brain or my hands, or what, but the second one is always terrible. And usually incomplete. So, it's not here.

NOT yet blooming in my yard are marsh marigold or bluebells.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Ephemeral. Fleeting. Our spring weather has been ephemeral this. Thursday, after snow and rain, we had a lovely spring day... to be followed by a cold and wet Friday. Today was, again, lovely, but by Monday we're supposed to be back to three days of chilly rain.

Today we walked at the gardens. The spring ephemerals were in full bloom. (Being 20 miles south, they are a couple of days ahead of us. Being professional horticulturists, they are probably another couple of days ahead of us.) As proof of point, I can't even get Dutchman's breeches (sketched above) to grow at my house. There it grows in huge clumps of feathery leaves.
Their bloodroot was actually on it's way out...
Trout lily.
Spring beauty.
Bluebells, just starting to bloom.
Marsh marigold.
This magnolia is from the exact tree I sketched last year on April 1 last year. It is, perhaps, a little further along in its lifecycle. But not much.
Prairie smoke. (OK, those last aren't ephemerals, but whatever.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


"There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot.

"Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question of whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free. 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..."

Pasqueflowers always make me think of Aldo Leopold. They secured an honored place in the second paragraph of the forward to ASCA... probably the most important and influential phenological document ever, not to mention one of the 2 most "impactful" environmental works ever written (and written over 60 years ago, so it's amazing how current its themes still seem. The other impactful book, by the way, is Silent Spring, this according to the American Nature Study Society). And so to me they have special significance. With their early bloom, they remind me that spring really will win over winter. Their rarity drives home the message of Leopold's book. Their diminutive size, almost hidden among last year's litter, tells us that beauty and wonder can come in small packages.
So, yea!! My pasqueflowers are blooming. I have no idea why they are so terribly pale, but I am thrilled that they came back. I've had a terrible time with them, never getting one to come back more than once. That includes this one, as we just put it in last year. Perhaps they only live for two years, though that doesn't seem right... And they're so hard to find, this is my last effort!

Other good news: my ephemerals did, indeed, come back. At least most of them. Shown below are bloodroot, mayapple, and a trillium, all behind last year's pace but there nonetheless. Shooting stars are also well along, and wild geraniums, and spring beauties, and wild ginger, and marsh marigold (one) and bluebells. The only things that didn't return to my yard are my red baneberry and my Dutchman's breeches.
These hepatica are in my mom's yard. They are a lot happier than mine. (Actually, my one that bloomed the other day isn't looking good at all. I suspect that was it's final attempt at productivity before expiring. I have two others that look like they'll be more like this, but they haven't bloomed yet at all.) My mom also has a Dutchman's breeches about 1.5 inches tall.

Oh, and we are having a major creeping charlie problem, which we may have to fight using drastic measures or we risk losing most of the aforementioned wildflowers.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

These warm spring days, like yesterday and today, it's like waking up to a new world every day. You may recall that on Tuesday, I mentioned that bluebells and marsh marigolds were not yet blooming. Well, yesterday:
There you have 'em.

Another cool discovery of yesterday was this mayfly:
This one was on our deck, and then today another individual of the same species landed on my shirt at school. Clearly, this species of mayfly is having its day in the sun, so to speak. Mayflies have one of the best ordinal names -- ephemeroptera. The ephemeral insect. The adults live only a day, maybe two. In that time, they have one purpose in life -- to mate. They don't even eat! Like odonata but even more extreme, ephemeroptera are really water-dwelling creatures, living most of their lives as nymphs, where, unseen by humans, they play an important role in aquatic food chains.

Today, I had a very bust day at school and I didn't even carry my camera, so I missed shots of frogs and swallows. Actually, the best discovery of today was what I believe to be a sprouting waterlily seed. It was in the water, and kids thought at first that it was a small pinecone. When we pulled it out, it clearly wasn't a pinecone, and it had some roots -- less than an inch long -- and and shoots -- equally small, with minuscule, round leaves at the end. It was pretty cool.

At home, though, my yard is filled with new colors...
Redbuds haven't actually flowered yet, but all of a sudden the buds change the brown branches to purple.
In my yard, all the tulips opened today. They weren't the first -- I've been seeing tulips for over a week, but in my yard they all -- red, yellow, mixed, orange -- opened today.... as did the first bellworts.
So what will tomorrow bring?!? (Cold, is the predicted answer.)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Last Day of Freedom

Tomorrow we return to school after an all-too-short break. Short as it was, though, we're going back in a world that seems entirely new. Spring flowers blooming, colors bright and subtle dotting the landscape. Most larger trees are still bare-branched, but shrubs and smaller trees, like crab apples and willows, are tinged with the green of small leaves, and when you look across fields, there's a green haze in the hedgerows... hardly a color at all. An aura. A message whispered in the wind... "It won't be long now..."

Here's what's popped up most recently:
Spring beauties, with their pale striped petals.
The daily bloodroot update.
Trout lily leaves.
Anenomes (these ones Canada) are among the plants that look like balls of green low to the ground. Others, not pictured, include Virginia waterleaf, Jacob's ladder, golden Alexander...
And here, marsh marigold buds (in case I forget to check them when they actually bloom).

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rain, rain...

This weather -- chilly and alternately pouring rain and drizzle -- is great for watching movies or snuggling up with a book... and apparently for marsh marigolds.  This one in my yard opened up today; with the sump pump pumping away, it is nearly submerged!

Over 1.5 inches of rain in the last 24 hours, with more falling fast!