More Signs of Spring

Growing up in central KS, I read every nature themed book I could gather.  Most in those days featured natural history subjects from eastern North America–a few from the west.  I longed to see the Smokey mountains in the spring, walk along the C and O canal, or see warblers dripping from trees during migration.  Imagine my surprise  and elation when I identified my first bright yellow male goldfinch as a 12 year old in my own backyard—I thought those birds were “back East”.  Of course as my experiences grew I came to realize that much of what was discussed in nature themed books was indeed part of my own Kansas environment.  Still until I enrolled at KU in 1969, I had never seen any of the “woodland ephemerals” so talked about in any coverage of spring in eastern deciduous woodlands.  I saw my first ephemerals in my second spring at KU in Baldwin Woods.  I ritually, return every spring to check on these populations of small, early wildflowers.  Their appearance each year grounds me.  Here’s some recent photos:

False Rue Anemone



Rue Anemone
Dutchman's Breeches



Erythronium albidum
Spring Beauty



One thought on “More Signs of Spring”

  1. Wonderful pictures Brad! But where is the Bloodroot?

    For those on Johnson County the Overland Park Arboretum is a great place to observed the diversity of spring ephemerals. Once at the park, take the paved path to the south and east, stay to the left once this path intersects the mulch trail. Travel the mulch trail across the bridge and Wolf Creek, and make your way off the trail along the north facing bluff that you will see to your south. You should be able to find all the plants that brad photographed with the addition of Bloodroot, May Apple, and the like…

    Get out there soon before they finish blooming!

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