Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Premature flowers

Dog-toothed violet, trout lily or yellow violet - take your pick
Between morning and evening yesterday the forest exploded in new spring growth. One result of that is the premature bloom of the dog-toothed violet, also known as a yellow violet and known locally as a dog-toothed violet. A patch of them, perhaps 4 feet by 5 feet, grows just outside the cabin steps.

To my eye, it would seem that a patch this size should produce dozens of blooms but that never happens. I might see 6-8 blooms at once, and today’s photo is the first of them. One advantage of having a blog like mine is that over the years I go back and find out when these flowers bloomed in previous years. To what I expect will be no one’s surprise in this year of the non-winter and early spring, 2012 marks the earliest I have ever recorded their blooms.

To be precise, they are blooming nearly 3 weeks earlier than the previous early record and more than a month earlier than the latest. Here’s the breakdown:
     2007 - April 25
    2008 - April 14
    2009 - April 8
    2011 - April 12
    In 2010 I didn’t record their flowering, though I noted the leaves were visible on April 7. Likely, the first flowering would have taken place several days afterwards.
    2012 - March 20

The rest of the forest is suddenly starting to grow, too. My bleeding heart bush went from nothing to 3-4 inches above ground in one day. Mayapples are now above ground, if still tiny. And there are all sorts of tiny bursts of greenery on the forest floor that are still too small to be identifiable, at least by me.

Down off the mountain even the trees are starting to leaf out. That hasn’t happened at the cabin yet, and I hope that’s still a ways off. I’m not ready to lose my view for the next 7-8 months. In a normal year I lose it for about 6 months and that’s bad enough!


Pablo said...

My forest was on the cusp of leafing out last weekend. I think by the time I can get back (two more weekends at least), it will be green, green, green.

Granny Sue said...

It worries me, Carolyn. Spring is coming with such a rush but we have two more months of potential frost or freeze. This is just not good, at least in my book.

Carolyn H said...

Pablo: The leaves appeared down off the mountain today. I know it won't be long before they are here up where I live.

Granny Sue: It worries me a lot, too. And what really worries me is how cavalier most other people are about it. Most seem to think this weather is "wonderful."