Just a Few Woodland Smalls   Leave a comment

Today was just one of those lazy Sunday afternoons.  You know…..the kind of day where you don’t want to do what you’re supposed to do…you just want to do what you want to do.  Some would call it lack of motivation.  I call it the way a Sunday should be spent!

A light breeze and the rustle of the young leaf canopy above beckoned me to get outdoors to see what was happening in the flower beds and along the edge of the woods.  First, I checked on a couple of the shady flower beds that lie at the base of some of the larger trees in the yard.  Formerly, about a month ago, they were playing host to a menagerie of daffodils….now a prolific crop of Lily of the Valley, Trillium and a few white violets are happily taking the place of the spent daffodil stalks.

Lily of the Valley was one of my mother’s favorite flowers and whenever I see these, I think of her and how she watched for these to come up each year.

Delicate white bells hide behind curtains of lush green foliage.

And of course the scent is enchanting!

Next up, was a grouping of wild May Apples along the edge of the property.  Their large umbrella shaped leaves protect a flower about 2 inches in diameter.

Later in the month, the flower will produce a round yellow fruit, hence the “apple” part of its name.  But for now, we see only the flower.

One woodland flower that has fascinated me since childhood is the Jack-in-the-Pulpit. I’m sure I caused the demise of more than a few of these on my childhood walks in the woods, merely due to the number of times I lifted the pulpit’s “flap” in order to inspect Jack!  But they are an eternally interesting plant, and one that I see less seldom these days. Perhaps their natural habitat has been reduced.  I’m glad they still seem to be happy on my property.

Did you know that there are both male and female Jack-in-the-Pulpit plants?  Yes indeed!  And did you know that the “Jack” and his “pulpit” is not actually the flower?  The actual flower is hidden inside the base of the pulpit, and is extremely small…small enough that you would need a hand lens in order to view it well.

Here’s a view of the pulpit from above.  This would have been w-a-a-ay too much temptation for me when I was a child!  Today, however, I just photographed it, and Jack was safe!

And guess who I found living among another bed of Lily of the Valley plants!

To round out my tour, was what I think is a form of Spring Beauty, another wildflower.

And last, but not least, a sweet wild white violet, beloved by both my mother and her mother.  Small and low-growing, they are easy to miss if you are not looking.

But they are definitely worth looking for.  In the language of flowers, a white violet is associated with candor and innocence, but also with the desire to take a chance on happiness.

Taking a chance on happiness….I like that!

We all need to be reminded to do that every so often.  Don’t we?

Of course if you are Tabby, our beloved but slightly spoiled 16 year old Himalayan cat, all this talk about walking in the woods leaves her rather nonplussed.  She takes her chances on happiness from the comfort of a soft pillow.

She hopes you are enjoying your day as much as she is enjoying hers!

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