|When walking through the woods, it pays to look up once in a while.|
|As the leaves of these Virginia Bluebells mature they lose the purplish blush.|
|These blooms are mostly white, pinkish ones appear later in the season.|
The finely divided foliage of Dutchman's Breeches, Dicentra cucullaria, is also making an appearance. I don't know if this species can be distinguished from Squirrel Corn, D. canadensis, just by the foliage. I am making the assignment based on only seeing the former species last year.
|The new foliage of all 3 eastern Dicentra species is very similar. |
Off to the right are some leaves from Spring Beauties.
White Avens, Geum canadense, will bloom until later in the summer, but it is producing fresh foliage now. It is recognizable by its deeply divided gray-green foliage.
|One of the large basal leaves of White Avens is at the lower right in the photo above.|
I saw a lot of leaves of Toothwort, Cardamine diphylla, and a few with flower buds. I also saw some leaves of cut-leaved Toothwort, C. laciniata. These have similar coloration, but the leaves are deeply cut into five or more fingers. These species were formally classified in the genus Dentaria.
|You can see a mauve-colored flower stalk just left of center, above.|
|Golden Ragwort should produce yellow daisy-like flowers on |
long stems through spring and summer.
|It's amazing that these little flowers will go on |
to produce a couple of hazelnuts
The new growth was not limited to the perennials. The shrubs are also beginning to bloom. I got this American Hazelnut, Corylus americana, last fall. It was bearing several nut clusters which grew to maturity last season. This spring I only noticed the small red female flowers. There were no male catkins on the shrub. I don't know if their absence is due to the cold, or the deer.
|Close examination of a Spicebush branch shows that the flower buds occur in pairs. |
This helps with plant ID.
All the new activity in the woods was not limited to the plants. A small red speck racing along a a branch caught my attention. It measured about 1/4 inch long and is 8 legged, like a spider. Comparing images on a Google search for 'little red spider' led me to tentatively identify this as a Velvet Mite. This is a predatory species feeding primarily on Arthropods.
|This looks like it could be a Red Velvet Mite. It moved very quickly for an insect so small.|