I find myself in this situation every year,
wanting to invite people to be attentive to the unfolding of the native plant community,
the spring flowers resurrected from the cold of winter,
and the cold mud,
the ashes of fire,
I get caught up in the other business of school and life,
and find myself well behind the opening act of spring wildflowers.
This year, we have this weird gap,
this weird opening and stasis,
demanded by the virus,
that allows me to look and look again
and send to you this new message about what is emerging,
in our midst,
but only observable by eyes that are attentive,
that seek to see, miracles unwinding.
Today, in my front yard,
the first blossom of Bloodroot,
poked its smiley face upwards.
This flower is the quintessential child's idea of a flower:
a "daisy" smiling white petals and a yellow center.
Love for daisy's aside,
this IS NOT a daisy,
similar pattern but totally different life style.
Soon, it will grow WAY bigger,.
shed its petals, and unfurl big, strange shaped leaves that will greedily absorb sunlight to recharge its subterranean storage batteries, to be ready for Spring 2021 (what faith!).
Strategy #2 for Sanguinaria is to produce seeds born in great bean-like pods.
Who? What is pollinating this early early Spring bloomer???
The following from Flora of the Chicago Region,
a giant tome from Georould Wilhelm and Laura Rericha,
it is all in italics if you want to skip over:
Asclera ruficollis, a false blister beetle, commonly visits the corolla to glean pollen. The following bees have been vouchered from the corollas, all of them female: Andrena carlini, Andrena dunningi, Andrena vicina, Apis mellifera, Serafina callcerata, and Lasioglossum versatum...."
As you can see, some people are watching very closely this incredibly beautiful flower, so rare now. It IS in our Waters School Garden, but only one or two. Look, search, carefully, protect. Ssshhhhhh. It will drop its petals in the first warm day,
Later you will know it by its wonderfully shaped leaves.
Not to spoil things but 1,2,3,4,5,6,other species are popping up.
In my front yard,
Twinleaf, Jeffersonia diphylla,
the first leaves look like Venus Flytraps,
buds popping up, 50 or 60 in my front yard,
similar to Bloodroot,
but also ephemeral, short bloom time,
also seeded into Waters School garden.
Look for it!
Finally, there is the almost hallucinatory way the ground is transforming from the grey black of soil into the blue, blue greens, pearly whites and purples as the tips Virginia Waterleaf, Virginia Bluebells, Golden Alexander, Mayapple, Yellow violets, and a variety of sedges emerge carpeting the ground. Look for them!
from a distance