By Boak Wiesner
A momentary break during an otherwise cold rainy day let me get out in the Wildflower Garden today to reacquaint myself with some of the spring wildflowers that bloom so ephemerally each year. I hope I haven’t missed any!
Down the slippery hill and into the woods, glad I didn’t slide right into the creek. And there’s some Cutleaf Toothwort! It’s one of our first wildflowers to appear. Spring is here, despite the knife-like wind out there in the open. Glad the trees block it down here.
A bit farther along, I come across some Dwarf Trout Lily. I have heard of these for many years but I have never seen them – until now. Wow, does their size justify their name or what?! I have to crouch down in the wet leaves to get close.
Being cold out, there’s not a lot of insect activity and so there’s not a lot of bird activity yet. I do hear my first Nashville Warbler of the year overhead “Se-bit-se-bit-se-bit-tsee-tsee-tsee”. Hiding under its own leaves, some Large-flowered Bellwort, one of our yellow flowers. Inconspicuous but pretty.
Another common yellow flower is Marsh Marigold. Big and showy, and easy to get to, they’re a photographer’s dream. These are one of the first wildflowers that I learned way back as a teenager so to see them cheers me.
And there’s my first Trillium of the year! So it’s growing next to the path and probably bloomed earlier than its companions because of the heat given off of the asphalt, but still, hey! – it’s a Trillium! There’s dirt on its snowy-white petals that’s been kicked up by the rain of recent days.
Boak Wiesner is a Minnesota Naturalist Volunteer