Friday was chilly and overcast, but dry, so our outing to Crawford Lake Conservation Area proceeded as planned. The very warm weather earlier in the week had left us worried that we might miss the bloom of the earliest spring flowers if we left the trip much later. Indeed, we found that both bloodroot and hepatica were out and some of the bloodroot was already spent. Bloodroot has the most ephemeral flowers of all, but its pretty leaves last the whole summer. Both bloodroot and wild ginger make superb ground covers in shady gardens.
We saw white trilliums already showing colour – about three weeks ahead of schedule – and, to my amazement, some Dutchman’s breeches already in bloom. American fly honeysuckle was in full bloom. The trout lily leaves were up but no blooms yet. Cut-leaved toothwort, marsh marigold, and elder were showing full, fat buds that wanted only another few sunny afternoons to open.
Many plants seemed about three weeks ahead of their normal schedule. How is this is going to play out with their appointments with pollinators and predators?
The photos show the effect of the chill and overcast weather: the flowers are furled because they don’t expect pollinators to visit.