Yay! I've been watching the woods behind our house for growing things ever since the snow melted a few weeks ago. There's been a lot of eager waiting. Now all of a sudden -- in just the past few days, really -- little plants have started sprouting up all over the forest floor. And while I was wandering in the woods this afternoon I finally got to see my first wildflowers of the year!
These Bloodroot blooms are such a welcome sight, like brilliant beacons among the dead leaves:
Once I noticed one Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica) plant in bloom, I started seeing these dainty little flowers everywhere:
I love the pale pink veining on these little flowers:
Some of the Spring Beauty flowers were much paler, and still very pretty:
It's so exciting to get to discover the plants that live on this wooded slope. Every new appearance is a surprise! I was happy to see these Mayapple plants pushing their way above ground:
Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum) leaves are now scattered across many areas of the forest floor; these leaves are still some of my favorite spring sights:
This small patch of Ramps was an exciting discovery! I'll be sure to sample a couple of these onion-related plants in the next few weeks:
Big clumps of what I think are Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) have sprouted up seemingly overnight. I've never encountered these plants before, and I'm very curious to see them when all those blue flower buds open up:
Cutleaf Toothwort (Cardamine concatenata) plants are abundant in these woods, and they're on the brink of blossoming. I really like their jagged silhouettes:
Outside of the woods, a male Yellow-rumped Warbler (the first warbler I've seen this year!) was looking especially fancy among Red Maple blooms yesterday afternoon:
And not quite on the topic of flowers, but still related to the changing seasons, I was happy to meet a singing Brown Thrasher along our driveway:
I plan to check on these woods every few days; updates on the progress of our local flora will certainly appear here. Hooray for spring!