Springing Into Summer

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

Trillium Blossom

It isn’t so much that we had a long winter—it just arrived late, and stayed that way.  Winter didn’t really have much impact until the end of January, when a sudden drop to zero (Fahrenheit) created the most incredible hoar frost before finally freezing over our creek and pond.  Although we had some shirtsleeve days in March, we still had a frost in late April.

Spring Beauties

Over the last two weeks, a short spring has been pushed out the seasonal door by an impetuous summer, bringing temperatures in the mid-80s.  What was still an almost bare forest 2 weeks ago, with just the hint of arboreal color through flower and bud has now fully leafed out, with only the black locust yet to be heard from.

Bluets

The first tiger swallowtail appeared on May 1, and suddenly colorful butterflies are everywhere. The family of squirrel pups in the hollow log outside my office has left the nest, and the phoebes are feeding their squalling chicks in the muddy nest on the face of our porch.

March Showers Bring Spring Flowers

Friday, April 25th, 2014
Marsh Marigold

Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)

Much of the Killbuck Valley is carpeted with bright yellow Marsh Marigolds, and I found two small clumps in our swamp within site of the watercress patch, on the far side of some deep muck.  Sticky, smelly, more-than-booth-high muck.

Claytonia virginica

Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)

Mom has never documented Marsh (or perhaps more aptly Swamp) Marigolds before, and I don’t remember seeing them.  Everything else blooming right now, in forest, field, and fen, is familiar.  The shady east-facing slopes of our hollow are crawling with Spring Beauties, in various sizes and ranging from deep violet stripes to almost pure white.  A lot of sunny spots also have Spring Beauty.

Rue Anemone (Anemonella thalictroides)

Rue Anemone (Anemonella thalictroides)

The east-facing face of our hollow, on the far side of the pond, is dominated by Rue Anemone, with surprisingly little overlap with the Beauties.  Virtually all of the Anemone are white, but I found one plant that is more of a violet color.

Rue Anemone, (Anemonella thalictroides)

Rue Anemone, (Anemonella thalictroides)

Downy Yellow Violet (Viola pubescens)

Downy Yellow Violet (Viola pubescens)

Mom says that we have 3 different yellow violets. I found one example, and I’m putting it down as a Downy Yellow, although some Google searching indicates some controversy over popular and scientific names. It was near the waterfall and not far from the only White Trillium that seems to be blooming in the entire county.  The rest of the Trillium just sprouted a couple of days ago.

White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

 

Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)

Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)

Round-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica americana)

Round-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica americana)

I only found one Round-lobed Hepatica, but there are lots of Bloodroot, most of them apparently getting ready to bloom during the next several days.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

 

Azure Bluet (Houstonia caerulea)

Azure Bluet (Houstonia caerulea)

The woodland flowers are in a race against time, trying to process as much sunlight as they can before the trees leaf out and shade them.  There are just a few patches of Bluet in the woods, but so far,  I don’t see any in the sunlight areas around the cabin.  With more time to grow deep weedy roots, and long sturdy stems, the larger field flowers have just begun to poke their leaves above ground, but some of the smaller wildflowers are growing in the sunny spots.

Purple Wild Violet (Viola sororia)

Purple Wild Violet (Viola sororia)

Gill-over-the-Ground Glechoma hederacea)

Gill-over-the-Ground (Glechoma hederacea)

Not really having a lawn to worry about, I consider Violets and Creeping Charlie (Gill-over-the-ground, a pervasive member of the mint family) as being flowers, not weeds.  Arguably, some of the evasive European plants that have established themselves in the USA should be considered weeds.

Chickweed (Stellaria media)

Chickweed (Stellaria media)

Chickweed is starting to bloom, and we’ve already got a couple of those below-the-mower-height dandelions blooming next to the cabin.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Blooms and Beetles

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

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Taking a quick count, we’ve seen about 20 different types of flowers at The Hollow this week. The showiest of the bunch was this lone Canada lily, lonely garding a mosquito-infested patch of poison ivy in the valley behind the remains of the old cabin.

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There are bunches of daisies.

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The clover are blooming everywhere. The morning dew hasn’t evaporated from this one, yet (click on it for a larger image).

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Marsh roses are blooming in our marsh. The skeeters were so thick, I didn’t stick around long enough to get a really good shot.

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This 2′ mystery flower was blooming in the grassy area near the marsh roses. The leaves look like nettle, and the stem is square, placing it in the mint family. Ohio has a flower called hedge nettle, but the leaves are narrower than this one, the stem is more reddish, and the pictures of the flowers are a bit different. The individual flowers on this plant are actually quite complex and pretty (click on the picture for a larger image–depending on your browser, you may have to click on that image also, and then you’ll see a version of the picture almost a full screen wide).

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Other mint family blossoms this week include some peppermint growing in the valley, and bergamot (above), growing all over the place.

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Loosestrife, also near the marsh, adds a touch of yellow.

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A colorful pair of beetles enjoy the flowers from a milkweed leaf.

Spring at the Hollow

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

I managed to squeeze a couple trips to the Hollow around a business trip to Chicago. On the last Saturday in April, I picked up Kirk at school and we spent an afternoon. The following Saturday, the first one in May, Dad and I visited.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve been down in the Spring–maybe I had a chance in college, but I don’t think I’ve been there since then.

On the trip with Kirk, the woods were white with trillium. They were already starting to fade the following week. Between the two trips, I saw spring beauties, rue anemone, bluets, violets, dandelions, and some large daffodils that Mom must have planted next to the electric pole.

Animals included a pileated woodpecker, a great blue heron, a deer, bluegill, and one very large, and still not hooked, largemouth bass.

Both were beautiful sunny Spring days with bright blue skies and yellow sun. Before picking up Kirk, I wandered around Doylestown Smithville taking pictures of barns and other country scenes, and then I went to a small Civil War reenactment in Wooster. I’ve started pulling together a gallery of rural scenes from Wayne, Holmes, and Coshocton counties.