Saturday, March 30, 2019

Seeking Spring?

March 25 2018

We still have some snow on the ground, and temps mostly in the 40's.  One day it reached 60, and there has been little rain.  We had to get out there to savor each little plant that is making its way up through the soil.

Marie and I visited three parks that day, all in Ottawa County.  First Hager (Hardwood) Park to find commas!  When Spring Beauty puts up its little leaves, we think they look like commas. 
    Spring Beauty leaves

Next stop Grand River Park...

At Grand River Park we see Harbinger-of-Spring, I was thinking it was just too early, and it was.  We did not find a sign of Harbinger-of-Spring, we did see something sprouting up though.


After the Grand River Park walk, we went on to Aman Park. 

We did find some Spring!
    Fur covered and very new, Hepatica
 These were on a hillside that had been scoured by the snow and ice.
 Hepatica leaves from last year....

 A very exposed Spring Beauty with tiny buds.

    Wild Leek   First the leaves show up, then after the leaves die off, the plant sends up a flower.
 We see many Paw Paw trees here.  Here is a fuzzy little bud.

 This place will be covered with Virginia Bluebells in a several weeks.
 Virginia Bluebell pushing out of the ground.

This is the place where we see hundreds of trillium blooming in late April and early May.  It looks bare for now.
Marie and I sat in the woods and listened for Spring... You could almost here the plants growing through the dried leaves, almost.  Then we heard a weak croaking sound coming from nearby.  I think it might have been a Wood Frog waking up.
It was so perfect sitting quietly in the woods....

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The First Hepatica March 18 2019

We visited Hepatica Hill in Allegan County on Monday, March 18 2019.
It was 39 degrees, the ground was snow covered in places.
This south facing hill along the Kalamazoo River was just plain brown. 

We saw green and purple hepatica leaves from last spring, and we found a few new tiny buds.  We took our time walking here, looking closely for an early glimpse of spring...

It was a nice enough day, cool with sunshine and blue sky.  We are just too early to find this favorite spring ephemeral blooming, we weren't expecting anything to be blooming yet.

Then Marie calls out, hmm, what did she see?  She had found it!  The one and only Round Lobed Hepatica blooming on this day!  It was nestled in a bed of green moss, so perfect!  Unbelievable!   
Thanks again to Mark Cassino for sharing this special hill with us.

     Kalamazoo River

We also saw....

We stopped at Happy Boots to take a peek at Skunk Cabbage.
   Happy Boots, Happy Spring

Next time a different kind of adventure from our trip to Moab, Utah!