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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Spring In Bloom

It's May in the north woods and everything is turning a gorgeous shade of green. It feels like this year we've enjoyed an extra-long spring. The winter was mild, the weather turned warm exceptionally early, and spring has just lingered on and on. And now for the last few days, just when it seemed possible that summer would burst upon us prematurely, in the middle of May, our temps up here have cooled off deliciously and we've had several days of much needed rain, bringing our April showers just a bit late, but who cares, as long as the rain is finally falling? 

Here's the "next bluff to the west" of us, known locally as Cascade Mountain and beautifully visible from our deck and kitchen window. This shot was in April, with that brilliant 
yellow-green of very early spring...

...then a few weeks later, with lots more leafed in...



About the first thing around here to show signs of regeneration is the pussy willow...

 Ferns start wriggling up through last year's fall leaves... I haven't tackled learning about the myriad of different ferns in our woodlands yet... still working on the warblers... By the way, saw a Blackburnian today... 


Don't you just love the green of early spring aspen leaves, back-lit by the afternoon sun? You can almost hear the endless music of those little fluttering leaves...

Our lookout on the ridge, in April...


And gettin' greener all the time...


Whoopee! The lupines we scattered last year are popping up all over the place! Come back in a month or so for pix of those delectable purply-blue spiky flowers...
 If look down once in a while, what treasures are to be found lying right at your feet! 
Here's a nodding trillium... 
 A vine known as purple virgin's bower...


 Our ridge trail is hard to capture on film. In person, it is much more mysterious and other-worldly... Think of every fairy tale from your childhood and all those characters who made perilous journeys through the deep, dark woods... 
 ... but our woods aren't perilous in the least, and the path is cushioned by a thick layer of moss and cedar needles... Mmm, smells great! 

 Take another look down. This is the wild sarsparilla! Local legend Knife Lake Dorothy apparently made her homemade root beer from native sarsparilla root (not the same as what commercial root beer is made of, which is a vine that grows in the Caribbean)... 
Check her out here: http://rootbeerlady.com/


I thought this might be a sarsparilla blossom, but my guidebooks tell me this is wild ginseng... apparently no relation to the Asian variety, and eating it won't help your memory at all... um, what was I saying again?
 This one is kind of eerie... A common (at least on our land) woodland plant called Bluebeard's Lily. Apparently the name comes from its brilliant blue berries, which are highly poisonous.  Here it is before the blooms pop open...
...and now this week the little lily flowers are opening up very sweetly... will have to come back and get some shots of those toxic blue berries... 



A pretty little Canada Mayflower...


A nice surprise for us this year, after some large mostly dying trees came down, and after we beat back some of the icky nasty invasive stuff, we discovered our land has been populated with this nice looking flowering shrub...
 It has many names but is mainly known as serviceberry. Smells nice, and the berries, which show up in June (pretty early for these parts) are apparently very tasty! 

 More woodland blooms... Starflower...
 ...another gorgeous specimen of a trillium...

 ...wood anemone...

...and the flower featured on our "home page" for some weeks, known (appropriately, I think) as Spring Beauty. 

I could keep delaying this post until I have captured all of the flowers that are currently competing for pollinators this week... but what the heck, I'll sneak a few in here and there in posts to come. Check back soon for the ongoing sagas of the veggie garden, our (mostly my) attempts at conquering our semi-cleared corner of the north woods, of yet another new building, and more new toys! 

1 comment:

  1. Wow do those pictures bring back memories, especially the poisonous blue berries. Saw virtually all those plants for years at our cabin up north. Nice to now know their names. As always, great pix. Thanks for sharing. Rox

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