Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Spring Beauty

This morning, after the worst of the nor'easter cleared out, I went out into the front forest to look for more signs of spring and found one! Here is the first spring beauty of the spring. Each spring my driveway and front forest area is lined with these tiny flowers. They are always the first flowers I see in the spring.
Now that the first of these beauties has arrived, I expect the first eastern blue butterflies to appear momentarily. Usually these two appear at the same time here on Roundtop.
Spring is still slower and further behind than is typical here. Every spring a few "volunteers" from long-gone Easter baskets reemerge and brighten the area around the front deck. Yesterday, the first of these was now just half an inch or less through the ground. That's close to 10 days behind normal. These escapees are are still weeks from blooming, which I don't expect now until around the end of the month, at least.
Here on the mountain I have yet to see any sign of trees leafing or redbud reddening. To me, one of the interesting things about forests, or indeed any plant growth, is how much spring temperatures promote or hinder new growth without apparent ill effects to the ecosystem as a whole. Animals and birds seem to be much more likely to be adversely affected by timing issues than the forest itself. The plants of the forest simply bloom earlier or later, zen-like, in response to whatever the weather is doing. The forest is really the master at going with the flow. And in other ways, as well.

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