Monday, April 13, 2015

Looking for the first flowers

Trout lily leaves.  Flowers won't be far behind
The moment when the trout lilies/dog-toothed violets bloom is nearly here. The gorgeous, green and gray mottled leaves are already visible, covering a 4x5 area of the ground just outside my cabin door.  As of this morning, no flowers were yet blooming, but it won’t be long.  The yellow flowers aren’t visible for more than a few days or a week.   Tomorrow rain is predicted, so if I don’t have the first flowers by this evening, I won’t expect to see any before Wednesday.

The trout lilies are usually in a race with hepatica and bloodroot as to which will bloom first.  Winter affects the timing of these blooms.  The first ones can appear anytime from March 23 to April 25.  One good thing about blog labels is that I can easily find when the first blooms appeared in previous years.  As you can see, the bloom dates are all over the April map, with a warm March thrown in for good measure.
2007 – April 25
2008 – April 21
2009 - April 20
2010 – April 6
2011 – April 16
2012 – March 23
2013 – April 11
2014 – April 14

On a completely different note, this past weekend I’ve been enjoying the sounds of birds both before dawn and after dark.  The gobbling of wild turkeys has awakened me for several mornings now. I’ve yet to see these large birds, even though the gobbling sounds close enough that if it was daylight, I should be able to see them.  Also, great horned owls have been calling from somewhere up near the top of the mountain.  Their calling is too far away for me to expect to see them.   More phoebes have arrived, and their calls start before dawn’s light, too.  The deep silence of a winter’s morning is no more.


Scott said...

Our bloodroots are in full bloom--on their way "out", actually. Inexplicably, it looks like your trout lilies are further along than ours, which are just beginning to peek out of the ground.

Last weekend, we had a plethora of pine and palm warblers.

Carolyn H said...

Scott: i'm thinking my bloodroot is no longer where it bloomed for 20+ years. I don't know that the spot has changed in any way, but I haven't seen bloodroot there for two years now. Last year I was away for several days in April and thought I just missed it. I can't say that this year.

No warblers here yet.

I'm hoping the trout lilies will bloom today--the flower stalks are up but were still closed tight this morning.