Monday, April 25, 2011
Easter came late this year and spring also decided to wait until the end of April to let us know it would stay. It is four days since the last fresh snow fell on Maundy Thursday and cool north winds still blow our way. We walked in the woods last evening and amidst the dead leaves on the ground, Bloodroot blooms rose, their leaves a shawl of warmth against the cold. Leaves of other ephemerals poked up in a fast growth spurt, racing against the time to complete their short reproductive season.
Fuzzy Wild Ginger flowers are developing at ground level below heart-shaped leaves which have yet to unfurl.
One Blue Cohosh plant bloomed at the south end of the woodlot, where the wind was blocked by a leafy knoll and the sun shone longer each day. Nearby, a precocious Trout Lily clump stood with buds ready to open on the next bright day.
But Bloodroot bloomed here in large clumps, the flowers standing like caped sentinels facing the light, the first ephemeral flower show of this spring season.
TO A BLOODROOT FLOWER
Bloodroot in the leafless wood,
Companion of gray Solitude,
When the birds begin to sing,
Thou, frail welcomer of Spring,
Dost thy white ray’d star unfold,
With its seed heart of green gold,
And remindest us how Faith
Blooms victorious over Death.
Spring now from her slumber waketh,
And unto each lover speaketh,
Breathing through her flowers and birds
Joy too deep for human words...
Excerpt from "To a Bloodroot Flower"
by Paul Shivell in his book Stillwater Pastorals