New activity in the holler has kind of left me breathless this week -- and with a lot of images in my photo files!
Rue Anemone-1 (Thalictrum thalictroides) on March 29, 2017 [Photo: Cathie Bird]
The rue anemones, as a whole, have more plants up, with multiple buds and flowers, than I recall seeing last year. I added a second anemone from a group in slightly different conditions than Rue Anemone-1. Both have made it through a few frosty nights since they emerged.
Rue Anemone-2 (Thalictrum thalictroides) on March 29, 2017 [Photo: Cathie Bird]
The space in which Rue Anemone-2 grows has more tree cover, thus more shade. Both plants get sun once it comes over the ridge into the holler, but with less cover, Rue-1 gets a little more of it.
This species is one of my favorites of the early spring flowers, maybe because it's one of the first signs that my least favorite season is on its way out.
Trout lily-1 (Erythronium americanum) on March 27, 2017 [Photo: Cathie Bird]
I finally caught a trout lily bud at a very early stage (above). Two days later it stood taller on the stem (below); the following day it had opened but, alas, no camera. Today I noticed five or six of Trout Lily-1's colony mates have buds or flowers out, more than I've ever seen in this 1-square foot area.
Trout lily-1 (Erythronium americanum) on March 29, 2017 [Photo: Cathie Bird]
Trillium-2 was the first of two Trillium grandiflorum on my list to appear. The plant behind it (in the image below) has a bud that opened a day or two ago. No sign of a bud on Trillium-2, no sign of anything yet around the Trillium-1 marker. Along the road about a mile from my house, quite a few white trilliums have open flowers.
White trillium (Trillium grandiflorum), March 29, 2017 [Photo: Cathie Bird]
In the middle of my watch for turning leaves last fall, some animal -- maybe a deer -- bit off most of the buckeye I observe. I had it flagged with sticks rather than white flags, and, unfortunately, the twiggy thing I'd been been watching turned out not to be the real Buckeye-1. I rediscovered it when I checked out an awesome patch of trout lilies, star chickweed, rue anemone and yellow trillium on March 26th. The earliest buckeye leaves, being dark and slender, blend into the forest floor really well. I planted an official flag nearby immediately, enabling me to find it again for the photo below a few days later:
Buckeye-1 and some of its neighbors, March 29, 2017 [Photo: Cathie Bird]
I wrote a little about the shady invaders project in my last post, which includes a photo of a multiflora rose bush. Buds on a second species I observe for this project -- a mapleleaf viburnam -- broke out around March 27th. To get the image below I had to use some of my marker flags to help the camera focus on the bud.
Just to compare the two species to date, buds on the multiflora rose are all open and, as I noted today on my holler walk, 95% or more of its leaves are about as big as they're going to get. It definitely has a headstart on the native mapleleaf viburnam.
Mapleleaf viburnam (Viburnam acerifolium), March 29, 2017 [Cathie Bird]
Leaf buds on the cloned Appalachian Spring dogwood I observe (image below) opened the same day as the viburnam. They grow within 50 feet of each other, in similar canopy cover, soil and moisture conditions.
Appalachian Spring dogwood, March 29, 2017 [Photo: Cathie Bird]
Although I don't observe them for Nature's Notebook, I watch for phlox and several yellow buttercup species. I saw a few individuals of each species already flowering this week. Several species of violets -- yellow, white, and blue-ish purple ones -- are out as well.
Busy week for all of us species here. Spring really does seem to sweep through the holler.