Cut-leaved toothwort growing along a stream bank
Finally! My first native wildflower of spring.
It took a couple visits into the woods to see this small stand of Cut-leaved toothwort finally in full bloom. The close-up came with wet feet too. But certainly worth the effort.
Seeing the first violet of spring took much less effort — just a few steps out the front door. Such pretty, cheery little flowers, violets are the host plant for the caterpillars of 21 different species of Fritillary butterfly found in different regions of North America. I’ll never understand why anyone eradicates violets from their yards.
First violet of spring
A flutter in the woods, delightfully, was a Mourning Cloak butterfly — an early butterfly of spring and certainly no cause for mourning. It has hibernated in these woods, perhaps under a piece of bark, and emerged with spring. This species is among the longest-lived butterflies, up to ten months. It will breed in summer and its offspring will overwinter here too.
Mourning cloak butterfly after a winter’s hibernation
A pair of Eastern Bluebirds foraged on the ground and perched in trees, appearing at times to supervise the installation of new nestboxes on the bluebird trail. Nesting will begin within a few weeks.
Eastern bluebird alert for a meal
Spotting little Northern brownsnakes — no thicker than a pencil — sunning on rocks in the garden has become part of spring. For a few years now, we’ve discovered two seeking warmth in the exact same location, having over-wintered in the front flower bed. This year three brownsnakes! They will travel to spend the summer and breed elsewhere in the yard. We’ve never seen them leave or return, but we’re glad to see the cycle continued.
Northern brownsnakes seek warmth among rocks
And how can it be spring without spring peepers? Click here to listen as a few spring peepers warm up after a chilly March morning.