Friday, April 09, 2010

April Wildflowers

I went out for a long walk yesterday and was pleased to see that Nature outside of the gardens was blooming to beat the band. There are certain wildflowers that I look for to tell me that Spring has really and truly gotten started.

Along the Hazard Rd. entrance to Ballard Park are some amazing carpets of Lesser Celandine. That's really how they grow, in thick carpets of yellow and green that seem to whisper "Take off your shoes and walk here!" Despite the name, these are not in the Celandine family, but in the Buttercup family. They grow in damp, low-lying areas, often near running water.

Lesser Celandine flowers are pretty good-sized, about the size of a small Dandelion. But my favorite flowers are the very tiny ones that I have to crawl to on my belly to get a good macro shot of them. There are a few that are early Spring bloomers. Below left is Thyme-leaved Speedwell, with tiny, tiny little white-with-lavender-stripes flowers. You won't see those lavender stripes unless you bring along a magnifying glass or have a macro setting or lens for your camera; that's how tiny the blooms are. Some members of the Mint family are also early Spring bloomers with very small flowers: Heal-all below right, and Ground Ivy at the bottom. They also tend to grow in low-lying damp areas near running water, and grow in carpet-like masses.

But tiny wildflowers aren't the only things blooming right now; trees are starting to get some color, too. No leaves quite yet, but some trees get flowers and catkins early on, like these Black Willows, sprouting their light-green catkins beside Hazard Rd.

I'll leave you with this view of the shores of Gooseneck Cove starting to take on some early Spring color. Given the warmer weather we've had lately, not to mention the rain, these colors should gain intensity pretty soon. Enjoy!

© 2010 by A. Roy Hilbinger


  1. So did you do as they suggested and take off your shoes, Roy?

  2. I want some ground ivy, but it's probably too hot for it here. I love the purple ones.

  3. lovely the unfolding of the season here and there seem to be in unison!!

    unfortunately, today it was two steps backwards to wintery weather - snow squalls this morning and cold all day (if it were winter still i'd say it was chilly today, but the explosions of color has made me jump to spring - that and a few days of record breaking warm temperatures!!)

  4. I love that name, Speedwell. I always thought it should have been the name of a MUCH more important rabbit in Watership Down.

    When we take that road trip, we will stop often for macro shots. :)

  5. You really heightened the details of these little beauties, Roy. I love your Ballard Park.

  6. love your April flowers...
    breathe taking!

  7. beautiful

    the heal-all looks like what i would call dead-nettles, are they related?

  8. Who'd have thought this was all blanketed in snow such a few short weeks ago. Our seasons don't change this dramatically. Lovely wildflowers.

  9. I sometimes feel that Spring Flowers 'Shout' ! Awake!!!!!
    Spring Has Sprung!!