Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring...What a Difference a Day Makes

Saturday morning was foggy and a little overcast when Jeanne and I started off down the trail at Charleston Falls. The bush honeysuckle leaves were popping out. This is not a happy thing. Bush honeysuckle is an alien species which crowds out the native plants. The park staff is constantly eradicating it by a variety of methods. In our part of Ohio, keeping the honeysuckle in check seems to be the best we can do. But as we approached the falls, we saw other leaves.
The Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra) is the earliest native tree to open its leaves in the Miami Valley woods. Lots of the buds were not yet open. if you enlarge the photo below you can see the large whitish leaf scars that last year' leaves left when they fell.
Just beyond the falls and beyond the creek which feeds it, I was amazed by this sight. Usually, I see other wildflowers before I see Purple Cress (Cardamine douglassii).
As we walked on Redbud Valley Trail above the falls, we found leaves of Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) and also Bloodroot buds(Sanguinaria canadensis).
At the bottom of the trail we found a few leaves of Dutchmen's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria). By the time we had climbed up out of the ravine, the sun was out and the fog had condensed on the spiders' webs.

The walk was a lovely one, even though we saw only a few flowers. We knew spring was on its way.

The next morning, Stephen and I discovered that spring had truly sprung. Stephen spotted the first sign.
Spring Beauties (Claytonia virginica). Once Stephen found the first couple, we found them everywhere we looked. But the next flower we found was more amazing. Jeanne and I looked for Dutchmen's Breeches but all we found were a few leaves. This is what Stephen and I found.

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