Saturday, April 01, 2017

Everyone needs a friend like that

It's kind of ridiculous how excited I can get about finding a brand-new bloodroot blossom just emerging from the forest floor. They were so tiny we could easily have overlooked them beside the verdant foliage of dutchman's breeches and emerging trilliums, but once we spotted one bloodroot bud, others quickly came into view.

We'd clambered up a steep hillside into the wet woods, my birding-and-botanizing buddy and I. Climbing conditions were not great after an all-day rain and a cold, wet night, but this is our last chance to look for spring wildflowers locally before she moves to Minnesota on Monday. It's been a few years since my B&B buddy introduced me to bloodroot and trout lilies and taught me to distinguish between dutchman's breeches and squirrel corn, and if I tried to count up all the birds and flowers she's helped me see and know, we'd be here all day.

I can't count the number of times we've been out hiking somewhere and she's stopped suddenly and said, "Hear that?" It happened again this morning as we were walking down the driveway, and as usual, I had no idea what she was hearing. "There it is again--zee-zee-zee--could be a kinglet." But it was singing so softly and so high up in a tree that I couldn't see a thing except a brief stir of motion.

But I saw the bloodroot buds barely three inches above the forest floor, and I saw field horsetail and coltsfoot and dutchman's breeches and hepatica--and, of course, trilliums, just on the verge of blooming. We slipped and slid in the mud, trying not to trample tender spring shoots, and we came back feeling cold and wet but encouraged by the renewed emergence of beauty--a beauty I might have missed if I hadn't had a faithful friend to open my eyes.



penn said...

Tell your buddy to come check out River Bend Nature Center in Faribault if she is close enough. Good birding and awesome wildflowers. We have dwarf trout lilies -- quite rare and only in three locations worldwide (the other two being Nerstrand State Park and on private property that happens to be the school where I work, tho she could come hike with me!).

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in the Twin Cities (I think Minneapolis) also is really awesome for checking out spring wildflowers.

I'm hoping to get out soon and see what is growing here. I hear a few different things have started to come up. Exciting!

Bev said...

Thanks for the suggestions! Dwarf trout lilies--I'd like to see that.