|Please click on the photo to see the amazing orange orbs on this rock pigeon.|
|I love you so much, I believe I'll just sit on you. Keep you safe. Hope that's OK.|
Juvenal's Duskywing was to be expected on this hot sunny day.
I thrilled to the first snowberry clearwing, one of the well-named hummingbird moths. Wild blue phlox Phlox divaricata must have some nice spicy nectar. Smells like a carnation, unsurprisingly, both being in the Caryophyllaceae, or Pink family.
Bloodroot Sanguinaria canadense was, to my delight, still in full bloom. It's notorious for shedding its petals a few days after pollination. I just learned that if bloodroot comes out too early and pollinators fail to show up, its stamens will lengthen, bend over, and touch the pistil, in an impressive act of self-pollination! Thank you Andrew Lane Gibson! (The Buckeye Botanist on Instagram)
I chose a plant with several leaves so I could pick one to show y'all why it's called bloodroot. It's in the poppy family (Papaveraceae), most of which have lovely colored sap.
Here's your moment of Zen. What it's like to be out in the spring woods. No leaves yet, and the ephemerals exploit that narrow window of full sun for a couple of weeks to do their rush-rush blooming and growing!
Please pardon weird crackly leaf noises. Can't avoid it when shooting at ground level with iPhone6. They're right by the microphone.
Bluets. Innocence. Quaker ladies. By any name, Houstonia caerulea is an absolute charmer. I will never forget seeing a guy who lives on our road weedwhacking the drifts of bluets that come up on a bare steep bank in front of his house every spring. Because he couldn't get the mower there.
He also weedwhacked the white trillium until it gave up. And then he planted variegated hostas in its place. What a guy. What an ultramaroon. I probably should have said something, but where to start with a person who destroys Innocence on purpose?
A stunning composite with an unfortunate name, golden ragwort Senecio obovatus sounds like it should make you sneeze. Of course it doesn't. It's early and lovely.
I don't ignore the vetches. This is wood vetch, Vicia caroliniana.
Cuckoopint! or swamp blue violet, Viola cucullata. I was gobsmacked by the color variation in this species, from a brilliant rose-pink the likes of which I'd never seen in a violet, to that smashing true royal purple with a streak of delphinium blue in its hair. If you click on this photo you may be able to see the fat white hairs in its throat, which differentiate it from other species. Violets can be tricky.
The first blooms from wild geranium or cranesbill, Geranium maculatum. Soon there will be gobs of it! But for now, its spectral rose pink lights up the forest.
Some breeches for a very fat Dutchman. I wondered if perhaps this could be a hybrid between Dutchman's breeches and squirrel corn Dicentra canadensis? Both Dicentra species. Probably not, but fun to consider.
The only yellow violet I found. Perhaps smooth yellow violet (Viola pensylvanica?)
Trout lily Erythronium americanum. It can take a decade or more for an individual plant to build up the nutrients and produce the number of leaves it needs to make enough food to bloom! You don't get trout lilies in disturbed forest. Needless to say, picking a trout lily is contraindicated.