Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Trout Lily
All along the little spring-fed creek at Prairie Pond Woods and the larger Hickman Run that it flows into, wildflower ephemerals are announcing the season of spring is here. First came the Trout Lilies and Bloodroot. Now the Rue Anemone, Purple Cress and Jacob's Ladder are in bloom. Next, Wild Columbine and Hepatica will cover the rock outcrop that shades the spring creek.

I know there are nature preserves or even private properties where large patches of these wildflowers dazzle the beholder, and I'm glad they exist and are protected.  But I get as excited about my little patches dotting the land here and there, as I do the spectacular ones.  I brim with joy at the first Moneywort (especially since I rescued several from an ATV trail) or the first Cut-leaved Toothwort, even if it is standing solo among the other vegetation. 

Rue Anemone
I'm thrilled because these are WILDflowers...and each holds potential for the spectacular. They are feral. No one planted them. Who knows how old some of these individual perennials may be? These, or their offspring, are the ones that survived logging of the forests. These are the ones that have been quietly cloaking the forest floors for decades and centuries.  

They need nothing from us. No cultivation. No fertilizing. No pampering (except for removing alien species on occasion). They are right where they are supposed to be, needing nothing but the soil, the light, the rain and insects for pollination. When their petaled performances are finished, they will release their seeds or spread out their roots, and the show begins again next spring.

Wild Columbine
My only mission at Prairie Pond Woods is to let them flourish. Let them perform their encores year after year. Let them fill as much space as the space will hold. To simply just let them be.

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