Throughout April, I continued to scrutinize the earth watching for any new shoots pushing their way through the dirt. After a few more days, there was a rapid uptick in new growth. By April 21st, there was a bounty of new things to study. There was now a green carpet of Canada Mayflower leaves covering the forest floor. After a few more days of investigation I finally found the hint of a flower in the center of one of the double leaved plants.
I had already found the Solomon Seal sprouts, but again just four days later I found hundreds of them at Barrett’s Cove. However, I was still hunting for the elusive Sessile Bellwort. I believed that the Solomon Seal and the Bellwort looked very similar when they first peek through the dirt, but the Bellwort was more delicate. On April 19th I found what I was looking for and indeed it was very fragile looking. In the image of the Sessile Bellwort above, I found a Solomon Seal shoot just to the left for comparison.
I also watched the plants along my driveway, noting the changes on a daily basis. I was rewarded with the first flower buds of the Wild Sarsaparilla on April 20th. A few days later, I discovered the first tiny buds on the Eastern Starflower. This particular one had 2 flower buds. What a nice bonus!
At Merryspring, I still hunted for the elusive Bloodroot. There still was no sign of it in the wilder sections of the park, so perhaps it had moved on towards better growing conditions. However, as I walked along the Interpretative Trail and approached the vernal pond, I found a new amazing discovery. I found some small purple flowers growing a little deeper into the woods, away from the path. The iNaturalist website told me that this was Siberian Squill, but I could not locate it in any of my paper wildflower guides. The Go Botany site listed the plant but claimed it was not to be found in Maine, contrary to the number of people in Maine who had posted this flower on the iNaturalist site seeking identification. Could this have originally been a cultivated plant that escaped into the wild? I could not find that out but I admired this little purple delight just the same.
At last spring was here! I was happy, but my spirits soared even higher when I finally found two small Sessile Bellworts in full bloom. A little further up the Barrett’s Cove trail, I discovered a field of blooming Trilliums. I had mentioned in earlier postings (maybe last year) that there was something about Barrett’s Cove that plants seemed to love. Unlike other places that I had explored where I would find one or two of the same plant, the flowers at this cove show up in abundance. I thought by putting up the image of the Trilliums you could get a sense of the copious blessings I found here. Not just Trilliums either, but Solomon Seals, Jack-in-the-Pulpits, and Bellworts. Things were looking up!
I hope you are all finding amazing things in your neighborhood.