Sunday, March 8, 2015

Early Risers...

After highs near 80 degrees F on Wednesday, Thursday ended with a Winter Weather Advisory due to the threat of black ice, and Friday's temps flirted with freezing all day.
Our wild week of weather wound down with an early morning walk on the wild side at San Lee Park under cloudless skies and a brilliant sun.

Red-shouldered hawk and its mate carried on a shrill conversation from their perches high above the stream, and a murder of crows responded with an agitated chorus of their own from just downstream. 

The trout lilies, object of our chilly early morning quest, had progressed significantly since our visit last week. 

Many more mottled leaves pierced the dense layer of last year's cast off foliage,

and at least a dozen flowers tentatively spread their petals to greet the morning sun.

Eye-catching as these golden baubles are to the wandering human, 
one wonders what pollinators nature had in mind for such an early bloomer.

Perhaps today's sunshine and tomorrow's combined will arouse a hungry bumblebee from its winter slumber...

Regardless of that answer to that little riddle, this colony of early risers appears to be thriving on the stream banks of San Lee. 

Judging from the hundreds, if not thousands, of plants now appearing, there are likely other reproductive forces at work in the soil of the forest floor, rich with the accumulated nutrients of a healthy forest ecosystem.

Tiny little bulbs sending out root-like runners, creating clone after clone, sending more and more leaves to the chilly surface each spring to tap into the life-giving light of the sun.

Thrilled by the continued success of our little colony, we pause for one last picture...

A rare individual lily, perched all alone on the massive moss-covered foot of a gentle forest giant, mere inches from the falling waters of the rain-swollen stream; 

a priceless reward for the early risers...

1 comment:

  1. You have a keen eye for detail in this beautiful world in which we live that most shrug off simply as "the woods".