A mature deciduous forest canopy is a verdant sunscreen in summer, millions of tiny green solar panels, providing life-giving energy to the very forest itself, oaks and maples and hickories and poplars and beeches and sweet gums, year after year, decade upon decade. At summer's height, the ancient forest floor, over-flown by thousands of thousands of wind-swiveling photosynthesizing sun seekers may see sun only in the interstices, a dappling here and drizzle there.
But in winter and early spring, the forest floor is a brighter spot, with life-giving light splashing down through barren branches and around towering trunks, so that spring-blooming wildflowers can have their moment in the sun . These impressive trout lilies are a month behind their San Lee Park sisters, but still thriving in the few remaining weeks of open canopy in the forest where they live.
All along the woodland path, trodden clear by the deer and yesterday's traveler, the spring beauty and rue anemone reflect the sun's warm rays from delicate blossoms of white and pink.
A chilly April breeze percolates through the still leafless boughs of the forest giants, animating these lovely splashes of light in a gently swaying celebration of life.
A solitary foamflower runs its ivory tipped standard up the mast, with another not far behind;
This is spring beauty's show, without a doubt, but she's a most gracious star, sharing the stage with a host of understudies.
These delicate twins say all that needs saying with regards to the etymology of Claytonia's common name...
As our path brings us closer to wood's far margins, we bid the flowers adieu;
not knowing whether our journey will bring us nigh again this spring,
but content with this brief communion, immersed again in our nature;
fellow creatures, sharing a moment in the sun.