Monday, April 21, 2008

Bloodroot: Here Yesterday, Gone Today

Bloodroot sends up a lovely flower, but it’s really just a one-day wonder. More than 20 flowers bloomed on the mountain in one small spot on Friday and Saturday. This Monday morning they are gone already, the pretty white petals littering the ground below the stems. The plants are blooming a few days earlier this year than last year, when I noted them on April 25.

Bloodroot was used by native Americans to make red dye. I’ve never dug one up or tried to make dye from them. I’m always impressed when I read about various plants and their uses, medicinal or otherwise. The trial and error that must have gone into discovering how plants can be used is mindboggling.

The first yellow-rumped warblers have arrived. Saturday morning I was up early and diligently went in search of them—to no avail. It seemed like the perfect weather for warblers to arrive, too—grey and overcast with a moist air and lots of bugs. After an hour or so I gave up and went inside. An hour or so later I stepped outside, immediately heard a familiar little buzzy song and there they were. Who knows how many there were, perhaps 8-12, tiny flits of color 75 feet up in the top of the oak trees. Even with 10-power binoculars they don’t fill the field of view.

Roundtop isn’t the best spot for warblers, though sometimes it is quite good. From what I can tell, the warblers first come to ground on the top of the mountain and then work their way down the sides, eating as they go. I’ve never seen them working their way up the mountain. Perhaps that’s why I don’t see them in the early mornings. In the early morning, perhaps they are still resting and eating on the top and it isn’t until mid-morning that they move downhill where I see them.

1 comment:

Georg said...

Hallo Carolyn,

That's a very good idea to keep track of this "liveless" spot.

Do you have any idea why this is so? Could it be that this place is a bit colder than its surroundings?

In case you have time stick a thermometer in the soil and compare the results with the rest.

Anyway, I am interested to learn if the place is catching up or not.