Thursday, February 17, 2011

Skunk Cabbage

Our area is in the midst of a February thaw. We aren't so foolish to think that spring is really here. We have had snow and ice bad enough to close local schools in late March. Still there are years when signs of spring show up in February. Stephen and I found rosettes of old fashioned Live Forever on Tuesday and even the tips of the Mystic Lily leaves.

Yesterday the two of us hiked at Brukner Nature Center after school. We had two goals. Were the Ohio Buckeye leaf buds swelling and was the Skunk Cabbage up? The first thing we discovered were trails still covered with snow.

We continued on. The Wren Run Trail leading to the swamp, the home of the skunk cabbage, looked better.

The swamp didn't look too promising at first glance.  But we looked hard.  And we found a green "witch finger".  Long ago a second grade girl on a nature walk I was leading told me that was what the first signs of skunk cabbage looked like.

We kept on searching and were rewarded. We found a maroon spotted spathe. Maybe the next time we visit the tiny yellow flowers inside will be visible.

And maybe next time the Ohio Buckeye buds will be swelling.

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