By Greg Lecker
It’s very wet outside this morning. The previously forecast sun is still at least twenty-four hours away. It’s colder outside than I had expected as well. In the annual display gardens, daffodil and tulip leaves have sprouted.
Strutting around the Sensory Garden, the resident turkeys shake their massive bodies to scatter rain drops from their dark feathers.
In the woodland garden, green foliage is pushing up through the leaf litter. Snow trillium blooms along asphalt paths.
Rain that fell overnight is still dripping from trees. Hemlock needles, in particular, latch onto water drops.
A pair of mallards lift off from a pool in the woodland. A red-bellied woodpecker calls with a “churr-rrr”; turkeys gobble.
In the Capen Display Garden, the basal foliage of prairie smoke has spread over the center garden bed surrounding the still quiet water feature. Here and there, a single bud has begun to open.
Finding other flowers requires more effort. True to its name, Pasque flower has begun to open, marking the end of the Christian Holy Week and the celebration of the Easter holiday. Myriad water drops decorate the hairs of the petals and foliage.
Flowing water attracts my interest to the serpentine ravine connecting the prairie and woodland – the wet rocks and the lush green moss. For a moment, I weigh the wisdom of sliding down the hillside to take capture a close-up…..
….then I decide that photographing nearby tree bark is far easier. Moss and lichen grow in a crotch between redbud branches.
On my return trip through the woodland, I notice not just the evergreen foliage of a fern here and there; but the tightly curled fiddleheads of ostrich fern. Within a month, these will have begun to unfurl, speeding spring along.
Greg Lecker is a Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer.