The first leaves that were big and noticeable were those of Puttyroot. I noted three areas that I will keep checking. I want to remember these spots or I won't find the flowers later when the leaves have disintegrated. The stalks blend in with the other foliage.
I was surprised to see Purple Cress buds just barely open. It could still be a while before they open. They never seem to be in a hurry.
I turned right at the T in the trail, still on the hunt for Harbinger-of-spring.
Instead, I found a chewed on animal skull...
and tiny Waterleaf plants putting out their first leaves.
On a dead tree trunk, there was a hole made by a Pileated Woodpecker.
And beside a living tree, Hepatica leaves were rising above the leaf litter.
I began to feel that Tom might be right. By now, I was past the area where we generally begin seeing Harbinger-of-spring. I decided to go just beyond the spot where the boardwalk crosses a swampy area. I remembered that the Harbinger-of-spring at Brukner Nature Center is just beyond their swamp.
No purple stamen showing yet but definitely Harbinger-of-spring.
I kept searching. Because the whole cluster of the white blooms are about the size of a pea, they are hard to find. Usually if a person finds one cluster there are others nearby.
And there it was...peeking up between a couple curly dry oak leaves. And the stamen were beginning to stretch up.
As I turned back, I found a few more Harbingers and even a couple Scarlet Caps.
Tom said, "If I had known the Harbingers were blooming I would have come with you."