Spring Ephemerals and Other Joys

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will ensure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter." Rachel Carson (link to searchable LDSES database)

Splish, splash; grackle, crackle. Spring by Terri Pitts

Splish, splash; grackle, crackle. Spring by Terri Pitts

We have such beautiful springs in the mid-Atlantic. What’s your favorite aspect of spring? A warm breeze, swelling buds on trees, new leaves unfurling, the sound of frogs, returning migratory birds, subtle beauty of spring ephemerals or the showy non-native cherry blooms? Here’s a collage of some favorites. (Feel free to send me a photo of your favorite spring sights — merikays@verizon.net.)

All photos above are by Merikay Smith except chickadee which was taken by Doug Tallamy.

Bloodroot (Sanguineria canadensis), basking turtles at Brookside Gardens, unfurling ostrich ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris), American toads, weeping redbud (Cercis canadensis), Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica), jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), white native flower whose name I don’t yet know, spring woods, trout lily (Erythronium americanum), miniature flower found on Seneca Greenway trail, chickadee.

Jared Meek of NY sends this note: These were the first Crocus flowers that I saw this spring. Even though they’re not native to the eastern U.S., they are wonderful reminder of the beautiful season to come, and a good way to get everyday citizens excited about the botanical beauty around them.

Julie Savage enjoys walks in her neighborhood (weeping cherry, dogwood and tulips; lenten rose).

Photos below of native blooms from Lauren Hubbard taken near White’s Ferry. Red trillium. cutleaf toothwort, Dutchman’s breeches, and Virginia bluebells.

Most famous of all for our area in spring are the Japanese cherry blossoms. Natalie Malkowski Reineke shares photos from DC as well as another Asian beauty, camellia, which is frequently grown in our area for it’s lovely late winter/early spring blooms. Though these are lovely, being of Asian origin they do not have the habitat value of native plants which co-evolved with native insects and other animals. So I’m happy that Natalie has also included our beautiful native dogwood which is now (mid-April) beginning to bloom.

spring flowers, teresa mohr.jpg

Happy Spring!

Photo taken by a friend of Teresa Mohr and shared with her permission.

Here’s hoping you’re having a wonderful spring and are reminded with spring’s renewal of life, of the gift of our Savior’s love commemorated at this Easter season.