May 8, 2015

A Walk in the Woods: Early Blooms

Spring Beauty 

The paths in the woods are strewn with delight. The earliest spring wildflowers are blooming, and though tiny––Spring Beauty flowers are only about 1/2 inch across––seeing masses of them bright above the dun ground is so cheering.


The Round-lobed Hepatica is another tiny flower that sparkles in the spring, with a lovely pale violet color, decorated by its little white globes spreading outward from its center.

Yellow Violet

A third of the very small flowers of early spring are the yellow violets, rising above shiny leaves.

Wild Ginger

Here is a flower I'd never seen before, that of wild ginger. It is a small flower, growing close to the ground, so easy to miss. I love the graceful spread of its three narrowing petals. 


Bellwort is a bit taller than the previous flowers; its flower is elegantly suspended, and so graceful in its upturned pale yellow petals.

Trout Lily

It is such a treat to come across this flower in the woods; I see many of the speckled leaves, but not many flowers. It is a small beauty, of an intense yellow. When I see flowers like this I am reminded that our cultivated garden flowers often came from smaller wildflowers.

Eastern Leatherwood

I noticed these tiny pendulous flowers on small trees (or shrubs) along my trail. Their reproductive parts dangle down festively. 

Eastern Leatherwood with insect cocoon, front and back

While photographing those flowers, I noticed this cocoon, another sort of flower.


After several warm days, the hills are showing the pale new greens of leafing trees; they also show a red haze interspersed with the greens: the red of maple flowers. Their bursting stamens are a perfect metaphor for the explosion of spring.


  1. Beautiful.
    Yellow Violet. Sounds impossible

    1. Thanks, JBS.
      The scientific name, less impossible sounding, is Viola pubescens.

    2. ¡voila!

      Those are so special, we used to move them into little gardens near the forts we'd build out of the chestnut fence-rails the farmers threw into their woods, ca. 1961.

  2. Love these photos. The first one is exquisite. You captured the spring beauty in all it's glory.