I seldom worry that what is found in a day outdoors will not be in some way extraordinary.
In early April, especially, when daily change makes the new of yesterday instantly old, I hate to miss even one day of it.
Birds cross the sky.
Leaves burst from branches and flowers quickly fade.
In a matter of days, the bare deciduous woods have become densely leafed-out and green.
Catching the bloom of the earliest wildflowers of spring, the ephemerals, in their race to flower and set seed in the few brief weeks of penetrating sunlight, is not a task for the timid—for to each part practice, must be added two parts luck.
Brought back to life from their rest beneath the rich soil by warming ground, rainfall and increasing daylight, many get quickly to the business of blooms before their own leaves even emerge, using the reserves of energy held over winter in bulbs below ground. Others, with accelerated photosynthesis, manufacture carbohydrates at an incredibly fast rate, allowing great growth spurts in just several days.
A bare, brown, leaf-covered bank can become dotted with white trout-lilies almost overnight.
While days later, not one of their splayed petals remains.
(all photos click to enlarge)
How many minutes do you spend with each one?
What part of a fleeting life can you hold onto?
Never too many.
Trout-lilies are early-blooming native wildflowers and members of the lily family, having 3 petals and 3 sepals and 1 or 2 brown/red-spotted strap-like leaves. Sometimes found in large colonies in undisturbed deciduous woods decades old, younger, single-leafed plants do not flower. White trout-lilies, Erythronium albidum, have flowers that are primarily white and tinged with varying degrees of blue and pink.