Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Getting a nice photo in the midst of rain and ugly light is proving to be a challenge.  So I grab a few shots when I can and then wait for the conditions to improve.  So far the improvement isn't scheduled for another week, with perhaps Thursday as the lone exception for the next 7 days.  Nice isn't a word I will use about the weather this year.

The first photo is bloodroot, one of my spring favorites.  The flower has waxy petals and lasts but a day, or rarely two.  They bloom at the end of my front porch.  I wait for their blooms every year. I have 364 days of waiting before the flower blooms again.  Isn't it amazing that these gorgeous flowers bloom for just a day?  I have to wonder at the evolutionary forces that selected for this and makes a one-day bloomer the winner in the evolutionary scheme of things.  Apparently it works, but that's not something that seems as though it should.


My second photo today is a spring beauty, one of at least several flowers that apparently fall under that term. This is one of the more common flowers in my forest.  At the moment, only the first of the flowers are blooming.  In a good year, perhaps in another week or so, the forest floor will be nearly covered with them.
They range in color from pale pink to white; the soil they grow in makes the color difference.  Here, pale pink is the rarer shade, though I have found it within inches of the white flowers, so I would think that the difference in the soil can't be very much.

6 comments:

Grizz………… said...

You're definitely a few weeks behind my wildflower season. Bloodroot here has come and gone by at least that long—and unfortunately, I missed most of them except for the few I have growing on the wooded hillside between the cottage and the road. But hey, only about a 350-day wait for me before next spring's blooms, and probably a couple weeks less than that.

You know, I hear that business about soil making the difference in the color of spring beauties, but like you I have a hard time believing it for the same reason—you can find white, pink, almost-magenta, heavily-striped, lightly-striped, non-striped, pale-violet, and almost-purple ones growing side-by-side, within an inch of one another, patches of one single shade, patches of all the variations, and patches where you'll have, say, both white and pink flowers, but not one of any of the the other shades. I just can't quite believe soil makes all the difference, though I don't know how else to explain the difference.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

What a delicate flower is the wild bloodroot. My son makes a salve out of bloodroot and bees wax. One has to be very careful in the use of bloodroot
-- barbara

Cicero Sings said...

Not much up here it has been so chill ... but, I did see some sagebrush buttercups yesterday for the first time ... they are our first wild bloom to appear.

Carolyn H said...

Griz: I've often wondered how 3-4 inches of difference in location can be so different in soil as to make the spring beauties change from white to pink. It just doesn't seem possible, especially since the locations don't look any different. And where I see a large bed of spring beauties all together, I'm as likely to find a pink one in the center of the white ones as elsewhee. I just think something more has to be going on with that.

Carolyn H said...

Barbara: I've never picked the bloodroot flower. I just let them be. What kind of salve is made from them??

Carolyn H said...

Cicero: i saw my first coldsfoot yesterday. Yesterday! They are usually out in late March or very early April. I don't think I've ever had bloodroot and spring beauties before coltsfoot before. It's been an odd spring here, that's for sure.