16 April 2022
Yesterday’s warm and sunny weather brought out woodland flowers that were waiting bloom. I found a good selection at Raccoon Creek State Park Wildflower Reserve in Beaver County, PA.
Four flowers were at their peak:
- Harbinger of spring (Erigenia bulbosa), only 5-15 cm (2-6″) tall, is one of the first to bloom.
- Spring beauty (Claytonia virginica) put on a show because the sun was shining.
- Chickweed (Stellaria sp.) was a puzzle without my Newcomb’s Guide. Which one is this? To me the petals look too long for common chickweed, too short for great/star chickweed but the lower leaves have long stalks which says “common” to me.
- Trout lilies (Erythronium americanum) are a challenge to photograph because they face the ground.
Other plants had one or two representatives while the rest waited to flower soon:
- Cutleaf toothwort (Cardamine concatenata)
- Small-flowered crowfoot (Ranunculus micranthus), with leaves shaped like crows’ feet, is a member of the Buttercup family. Its small flower can be inconspicuous.
- Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria),
- and Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica).
Unfortunately yesterday’s gusty winds presaged today’s rain and colder temperatures for the week ahead. (Snow in the sky on Tuesday?!) The flowers at Raccoon may be delayed again.
Meanwhile weeds will not be phased by the change in weather. Look at the sidewalk’s edge to find bird’s-eye speedwell (Veronica persica), a native of Eurasia. I found this one near the feeders at Frick Park. Bird’s eye indeed!
(photos by Kate St. John)