Out in the holler this week, I finally snagged an image of a deer track, made more photogenic by mud on the lane. This is the same wet spot in which I found tracks of a smaller animal a few weeks ago.
Deer tracks on the lane, 20 March 2014 [Photo credit: Cathie Bird]
Just up from the deer tracks, I found what I believe to be the first leaves of orange jewelweed, including those of the two individuals whose life cycles I record at Nature's Notebook. Taking a photo would have required disturbing leaves and grass still sheltering them, so I checked my enthusiasm and just looked this time.
Closer to the house I found a number of yellow violets already flowering. The halberd-leaved violets are one of my spring favorites, often one of the first flowers I see in the holler...other than dandelions, which also have a few of their kind blooming.
Halberd leaf violet (Viola hastata), 21 March 2014 [Photo credit: Cathie Bird]
Yellow trilliums have emerged near the violets. I'm not sure what makes that patch of the holler so conducive to early appearances. Trillium in this area has always been the first up in the holler. I've wondered if the thermal belt phenomenon has contributed to this, as I often encounter cooler air as I go downhill on my holler walks.
Yellow trillium (Trillium luteum), 21 March 2014 [Photo credit: Cathie bird]
Redbud1 has noticeable buds now -- so far it's the only one of my tree observation species that is showing some movement toward leaf out. Yesterday I planted a couple of special dogwoods that I'll be observing...more on those in the next post.