Tuesday, April 26, 2011

trillium, blue cohosh, and sea squids

I’ve got a lot to report on today – the usual suspects (lilac, gray birch, my unfortunate sartorial mistakes), plus three new flowers have popped up seemingly outta nowhere.
I didn’t sleep well last night – I had a lot on my mind, plus a thunder and lightning storm woke me up in the middle of the night. I used to not mind lightning storms a bit, but the older I get, the more they freak me out. I confess, I had a moment of wanting to hide under the bed, but that would have required stealing all the blankets and I didn’t have the heart to do it.
First up, the lilacs (Syringa vulgaris). We’ve hit the tipping point – we’re looking at Actual Leaves, now. 
Next up, we have a squid. Oh, I’m sorry, that’s not a squid. That’s a cherry bud of some variety – maybe a choke cherry (Prunus virginiana). But I stand by my observation: it looks like a sea creature that’s up to no good.
Speaking of sea creatures, I still have no idea what these red thingies on the gray birch buds are. You can see the buds have opened up a bit from a when I first noticed them.
The ferns are taller. They’re damp, here – I went out in the morning, when it was still wet. And I found another kind of fern, too:
In the woodland mystery section of the side yard, the ground is covered in the glossy evergreen leaves of periwinkle, aka myrtle (Vinca minor).
There are a lot of wildflowers scattered in here. For instance, zooming in on the center of this photo, we have….
…trout lilies (the mottled leaves). They’ll have little yellow bell-shaped flowers soon. But in addition to harboring other wildflowers, the myrtle itself is flowering:
Can you imagine, a carpet of evergreen leaves dotted with purple flowers? Does life GET much better than this? Happy sigh.
But wait! there’s more! The wild ginger is starting to produce its weird jester-hat flowers. Or at least I think this is what we’re seeing.
I know – it’s hard to tell what we’re looking at here. But trust me, this is going to be good. I hope. Last year I only found one flower and then couldn’t find it on subsequent days.
That was all this morning. Then I got busy with important ‘Real World’ activities: finding something in my closet suitable to wear to a job interview. That’s right, sports fans, I interviewed for An Actual Job today. That took up the better part of the afternoon. By the time I got home, I needed a serious application of Cat on Lap to bring me back down to earth, and I nearly blew off my run. But the knowledge that I have a 14 mile training run this Saturday (watch this, I’m going to use a fake word) incentivized me, and I hit the road. Ladies and Gents, it had warmed up to shorts and T-shirt weather.
not again
Here’s why:
Trillium! I saw these EVERYWHERE. Pretty much all Trillium erectum, with maroon flowers.
There’s a trillium in the center, and it’s surrounded by strawberries – either wild or wood, I’m not sure yet. Plus there’s a trout lily in there.
AND, I even saw flies buzzing around (flies pollinate trillium – the flowers smell like rotting meat). AND, special bonus, I also saw a bonanza crop of blue cohosh, which we’ve visited on many occasions here.
Here it is. Right now, everything about it is blue, but eventually the stems and leaves will go green.
It looks like the coshosh’s flower innards might be yellow? That ought to be fun to watch.
At this time last year, the magnolia had already started to bloom.
Not this year.
Ahhh, a random Zen moment.

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