Thursday, March 20, 2008

First Day of Spring!

Since this year is a leap year, today, March 20th, is the first day of spring. Our Maple Syrup Season is over, so we spent the afternoon taking down the spiles and buckets. And while we were out there, Chris and I had an opportunity to look around a bit and see the first signs of spring.

The leaves of Spring Beauty are coming up. Their strap-like bright green leaves were poking through the carpet of dried leaves on the forest floor. The small tubers are actually edible and taste like radishes, if consumed raw, or potatoes if cooked.

Salt-and-Pepper or Harbinger of Spring, Erigenia bulbosa, was a sight for sore eyes. One of the first wildflowers, it always makes me think of spring. It was also used by the Native Americans to relieve toothaches. The condiment name comes from the dark stamens against the background of white petals.

Harbinger-of-Spring, I actually took this picture and it didn't turn out too shabby!

I could not get a picture of this guy, no matter how quietly I tried to sneak up on it. A beautiful Mourning Cloak was flitting around in the forest. It would rest for a bit, I would sneak up on it with my camera and poof, off it went. We played this frustrating game for a while, until I decided to give up. I am always amazed how it can sit perfectly still with its wings closed and look just like a dead leaf. What a great find on a perfect day!

Mourning Cloak, dorsal view. Photo by Wikipedia.

Mourning Cloak or dead leaf? Just quickly passing by, one would probably think it was a leaf.


No comments: