Spring is a great time of year to explore your parks; watching the slow progression from brown to green to bloom. I'm making a point of walking the Trillium Trail every day to find the first trillium bloom. Day 1, if you look close beneath the leaves there's a bright green world waking.
Three weeks and three days later, the hill has certainly changed! Wild ramps are now covering the hillside, hepatica is blooming.
The trees have begun filling out, the forest floor is now covered with a great smattering of wildflowers like trillium, bishop's cap, toothwort, spring beauties, wild geranium, there are also many mayapple, berry bushes, waterleaf, and ferns to fill up the landscape.
Take a moment to consider the effort the Earth has made to make the scene, how from tiny seeds or rhizomes the landscape can change so drastically with just a little sun and rain. It's a very cool world out there, I'm glad to be able to share a little corner of mine with all of you. May apples, wild ginger, jewelweed, and nettle are dominating the landscape.
Similar coverage as June with Jewelweed and Nettles being the largest growth. This time both the nettles and the jewelweed were blooming as were the ramp flowers.
There's something magical about watching the changes this hill has undergone in its normal year cycle. It reminds us we're in constant flux and everything will come back around, so breathe, relax, and enjoy the ride. There's a time for growth, there's a time to be still. August's scene shows the bigger plants stepping back, the once abundant nettles, waterleaf, and jewelweed are shrinking back down as the Virginia Knotweed rises up and spreads out.
September's hill is growing sparser in plant coverage, the majority of greenery is the Waterleaf, and nearer the bottom of the hill the nettles. Hidden amongst the remaining leaves theres a whole world of mushrooms emerging ready for their time in the -er- shade. While July and August were quite similar in appearance, September is showing the first signs of the approaching fall.
October begins putting the forest to rest covering it with a layer of colorful leaves, letting go and relaxing is a good lesson for this month.
At this point on the Trillium hill, most of the plants have withered away, receeding into their winter home under a blanket of leaves. The majority of the remaining green (besides the evergreen 'christmas' ferns) can be found in the waterleaf, holding on as best it can, and the blue stemmed goldenrod or wand goldenrod which has gone to seed. Once more the pines in the distance are quite visible, as are the fallen trees.
December's photo highlights the bareness of the trees, the curves of the hill, and the all encompassing whiteness of the freshly fallen snow. The only green to be found is in the pines in the distance and the Christmas Ferns scattered around (they remain green all year long). The only sounds to be heard were the crunching of the snow and the laughter of the woodpeckers, otherwise a peaceful calm has settled over the woods.
After yesterday's warm temperatures and heavy rains, all signs of winter's snow have been erased. It was beautifully brisk with mounds of ice needles protruding from the ground. The rains cut a channel down the path, pooling in areas, falling in others. It's a good reminder to wear proper footwear and stay on the path (remember how eroded the trail became in April?). With the quiet surrounding, you can really take in the shapes of the trees, how some branch regularly yet others have a few sturdy limbs, the silhouette of the tree in winter is something to pause upon and take in.
February's hike was a fantastically snow covered one, the early morning snow still clinging to the trees, for just one moment the world was quiet and calm.