Monday, May 26, 2014

spring ephemerals and is it still spring?

Ephemer-who? From the Greek ephemeros, it means lasting only one day.  These flowers are fleeting, blooming quickly and then dying back once the canopy of leaves blocks out most of their sunlight.  They are beautiful and maybe because they are so short-lived, coming across one in the forest is like finding true treasure.

This year I was set on not missing one of my favorites, Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis).  The beautiful lobed leaves are visible for much longer, but the flowers are truly ephemeral, and in the past I have missed them by days.

My friends know my love of these flowers, so one day I got an email and a phone call: "Girl, get out in the woods! BLOODROOT IS BLOOMING! Love you!" So Ani and I did.

On a walk last year with a local herbalist and naturalist, we had a good look at the rhizome of the Bloodroot, and it is a deep, beautiful red that will dye your skin and was used as a dye for baskets by Native Americans.

The photo below is not a good one of the flower, but it does show the way the single leaf will wrap itself around the single bloom.

Of course the Bloodroot isn't the only spring ephemeral, just the most elusive (for me!).

cutleaf toothwort
spring beauties

trout lily

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We have a large calendar hanging in our kitchen.  Actually, we have three calendars in our kitchen, and one more mounted on the biggest clipboard you've ever seen.  I am obsessive about planning and mapping, and it helps me so much to be able to move life around with my hands, some post-it notes and a pencil.  (I proudly showed Dan one of my calendars, plotted out with rulers and post-its exclaiming "Yellowstone!" and "Seattle!" He was not so impressed; he keeps track of all of this in one place, the Google calendar, and while I really really try to comply, I just cannot leave it at that.  Not enough fiddling and coloring-in with colored pencils.)

Anyway, all this to say - our summer, Our Summer has really begun. The first large block of time staked out on the calendar, followed so closely by last day of learning coop, first day of Summer Dance Classes, and two rapid-fire camping trips, is a training Dan is participating in, in upstate New York.  For a month.   He trained with SITI company a year and a half ago while doing research for his dissertation.  What I've been remembering about that fall is the chicken pox, but I just went to look at what I wrote about during that time, and it was full of beauty and life!   He and I drove to Columbus this weekend to put him on the plane.

Summer has begun, and we're going to be fine...


esme freeman said...

"and we're going to be fine"
Love it, love you.

Tokarz said...

well, that was me, erin. not Esme.
But, I bet she likes it too!

merry said...

The bloodroot is a native Wisconsin plant. I used to have one at the side of my house and it was fun trying to catch it while it bloomed! Love these flower pics!