April 19, 2017

Three weeks ago, when I broke my collarbone, Winter was still in charge of the forest, with Spring shyly peeping between the trees, barely showing the hem of her petticoat.  When we returned to the mountains, Spring had taken center stage, kicking up her heels, showing flounces, ruffles, and lace in a wild display of joyous life!

The brown leaf covering of the forest floor is transformed into a carpet of glowing, vibrant GREEN!  Mayapples unfurl their umbrellas.  Twin  bunny-ear-shaped ramps poke above spotted trout lily leaves.  Heart-shaped violet leaves give way to compound shaggy Dutchman’s breeches.  And everywhere, the small narrow lance-like leaf blades of spring beauties fill in the background.

That emerald backdrop is the canvas for some truly beautiful blooms.  Yellow-white Dutchman’s breeches hang from slender stems, like laundry out to dry.  Pink-striped white spring beauties cover the ground, imitating scattered snow flakes.  Purple, yellow, and white violets lift painted faces to the sun, while yellow trout lilies hang their heads but curl their petals back in a shy invitation to the bees.  Hugging the ground, tiny gaywings add spots of purple, and giant red trilliums nod above them all.

On our first day back on the trail, Jay and I were awed and enthralled.  We stopped to rest on a fallen log, surrounded by acres, miles, of beauty, a cathedral of life.  Jay spoke for us both.  “I’m glad we didn’t miss this.”