Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring Wildflowers and Other Wild Wings Scattered About

The gardens, fields and forest floors are dotted with fresh spring wildflowers. 

A delicate dancing red Trillium magically lifts itself up into the light. 

An early to emerge Orange sulphur Colias eurytheme, flying about looking for vetch no doubt. I am excited to see that the chrysalis survived our winter and hungry birds. April is suppose to bring showers but this year there have been few and I guess that is good for butterflies. I have never seen so many flying wildflowers this early before. The warm spring has encouraged emergence and I hope the dipping below freezing temperatures will not harm the wild winged creatures. 

 Black Swallowtails are awake very early too. I eyed this female depositing an egg and found it right in the path. I was surprised to see that the egg was attached to a piece of Bishop's weed. An invasive, pernicious plant of the carrot family . . .  and this may be a way to rid my gardens of at least some, but it is hopeless to ever be free it. I will be raising the caterpillar in a safer place indoors and will gladly harvest Bishop's weed for it to eat. I will place some Queen Anne's Lace near it too just in case. Dandelions are popping up in the grassy paths and fields. An important nectar source for the butterflies and the greens are great to eat . . . richer in iron than spinach. I do not understand why so many hate them. 

It is always a joy to see the clustered cheery faces of our native 'Quaker Ladies' or Bluets Houstonia caerulea, carpeting the fields. 

Even the Cabbage White Pieris rapae, is lively a bit earlier than usual. I hope she does not discover my tiny brassica seedlings sprouting in the veggie garden. Sweet violets are offering refreshing nectar.

Even more tiny blooms can be found lower to the ground. I am forgetting what these are. Any ideas?

I have been eyeing this Yellow-rumped Warbler  Dendroica coronata, for a couple of weeks now. 

Native Shadblow Serviceberry Amelanchier canadensis, blooms in the south field

Oh, I can never look upon these seemingly harmless fronds in the same way again. These could be Ostrich fern fiddleheads but it is too soon for me to determine. They are growing in a wet area in the north field. I have never harvested my own fiddleheads but did buy some recently at our co-op and prepared them for a lovely outdoor luncheon. Well, BEWARE  (see link just above in this paragraph - I wish I had) . . . you must boil these for at least ten minutes and then sauté them. I did not know or remember this and paid a huge price for my ignorance. Luckily my dear friend J. did not taste any tainted coils. 

Bloodroot Sanguinaria canadensis, blooms came and went very quickly with the heat, but their butterfly like leaves (in this image anyway) are equally stunning. 

 Virginia bluebells Mertensia virginica, are ringing in the north field. 

Violets Viola, are creating lovely carpets along the fields and garden floors. 

A first sighting ever for me here at Flower Hill Farm  . . . a Field Sparrow Spizella pusilla.

There are millions of blueberry blooms promising a bounty of berries for humans, birds and other beasts.

Red Elderberry Sambucus racemosa blooms outside the little studio terrace. A favorite berry for many birds. 

This wildflower post for Gail  begins and ends with Trilliums. This grandiflorium lives happily beneath an apple tree. 
It is an overwhelming time of year in every way. So much to do and see . . . ever changing. 
Exhilarating, inspiring and exhausting. 
Those of us who can engage in it and enjoy are so blessed. 


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Dear Carol:
This post contains such treasures all of which are, we are afraid to say, covetable.

To begin with, Trilliums, the absolute aristocrats of the spring garden and plants with which, in our Herefordshire garden, we struggled with for so many years trying to give them ideal conditions and never, somehow, being able to suit them satisfactorily.

Houstonia caerulea is an absolute charmer and completely unknown to us. What a lovely carpet it makes for this time of year. Could your other little blue flower be some kind of Chionodoxa? But we would imagine that you would know it and we associate it with flowering rather earlier than now.

Both Sanguinaria and Mertensia are, in our view, absolutely wonderful but, again, we found them difficult in cultivation. Lucky, lucky you!! And the Amelanchier too. An ideal shrub or small tree, not least for its superb autumn colour, as well as this lovely spring blossom.

The Cabbage White butterflies were always a menace to us in the kitchen garden!! Oh well!!

Gaia Gardener: said...

Wonderful photos! It looks like spring is in full glory in your neck of the woods!

THB Farm (Ellen S) said...

Beautiful pics as usual, Carol, enjoyed over my morning cuppa :) I agree that the best of all things nature starts and ends with trilliums. They amaze me every single year...

Your photo of Sambucus racemosa has persuaded me that I desperately need this shrub! Never knew they bloomed this early!

Your swallowtail butterfly is yet another reasons why dandelions can be a good thing :)

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

It's fun to see Trillium again, ours has been finished for a few weeks. The Swallowtail is stunning, but as a vegetable gardener, I can't help but wince slightly at the Cabbage White. I almost lost all the red cabbage last fall to their voracious little caterpillars! I love the little field sparrow, and his little red head, adorable!

Gillian Olson said...

What a wonderful selection of flowers, butterflies and birds. Your world certainly looks beautiful this time of year. Thanks for sharing.

Larry said...

Your woods is spectacular... how I miss living on the edge of a forest as a child... Larry

kirstallcreatures said...

What a lovely area, and super range of wildflowers, that Eastern Black Swallowtail is a handsome creature

Elephant's Eye said...

Tiny? Toadflax??

sandy said...

We only have painted trillium here, but have seen both the white and red posted from NH a couple of times this week.

Your farm is living up to its name this spring, for sure. Can you smell the trees when you go outdoors?

Lovely as usual, Carol.

Maureen said...

Your pictures are so beautiful. So many of your wild flowers would be garden treasuresin this part of the world

Andrea said...

Of course i am not familiar with most of the plants here but they are all lovely. We have many swallowtails but not like your black, and we have also those sulfur and whites, which elude my camera. I am curious about those fiddleheads, haven't heard of those! So they are eaten, what part of the plant are they. Your link is not active, i have to read it to see what happened. Thanks Carol. God Bless and happy weekend. I miss your post, how are you?

catmint said...

Hi Carol, I haven't visited for a while, and everything is looking as magical as ever. With your camera you even manage to make the Cabbage White butterfly look lovely! And how you trained that Field Sparrow to pose just so, with the light behind her, is a mystery to me. And the shot underneath the sparrow with the multi-trunked white barked tree in the middle of the other trees and shrubs is just perfect. cheers, catmint

Carol said...

Thank you Everyone!! I so appreciate your words.

Jane and Lance ~ You need not covet my successes here, for truly they are all survivors and it is due to their own merit. I must confess to having a garden of thugs for the most part and any jewels that linger here are clever enough to evade the prolific invasives. The tiny flowers belong to a low growing ground cover not a bulb. I do have those sweet Chionodoxa too. I know the Cabbage White is a most unwelcome guest in our veggie gardens. I fear for my tiny brassicas!

Diana, I do not think it is Toadflax . . . at least not the varieties I have seen. Thank you for your suggestion though. ;>)

Yes, Sandy . . . the fragrance is beginning to float over the entire landscape. The cooler temps are diminishing it some though.

Andrea, I do miss blogging more but I am not able to be in front of a computer as I once was . . . not with the wifi on anyway. You would not think it to see them but it takes me hours to do one post. I am so much better this spring from last year, when I had to have help getting up my hill!! ;>)) I truly hope I have beat the Lyme spirochetes. The link is in the same paragraph (Ostrich fern fiddleheads) You eat the tightly coiled part (AFTER BOILING FOR TEN MINUTES)that is just emerging from the ground. They are quite yummy but I am not sure if I can ever enjoy them again after my violent attack.

Again, Thank you everyone for visiting and for sharing your experience with me.

THB Farm (Ellen S) said...

Carol, the tiny flower sure looks like Gill-on-the-Ground to me. Alien weed that is the scourge of many a lawn lover...

patientgardener said...

I do like Trilliums. I have one, well I did, I had better go and see if it is reappearing this year.

I havent seen many butterflies yet this year, there were some back at the end of March but since then the weather has been cold and wet

commonweeder said...

I love visiting your hill, but I do wonder why you have so many more flowers than I do! I do have dandelions and violets.

Gail said...

Beautiful...I am imagining spring again! My Virginia Bluebells lasted two days before the heat melted them...Ahh next year. Carol, I know you are having a good time out side...and I am glad, the ticks aren't out yet or re they? xoxogail Love the birds, too.

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