Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dutchman's "Britches" and Mayapples

An Earth Day believer, but tired and cranky --- the idea of going up town and picking up someone else's junk in gutters and alleys got on my last nerve yesterday. So I went to the woods instead. Life is short. 

Didn't want to miss the Dutchman's Breeches this year. Or "Britches" as we call them around here, Dicentra cucullaria.

The springtime woods are subtle, lacking the summer and fall flash of prairie landscapes. You've got to keep your eyes open and pointed down. If you're huffing and puffing along, using the trails as a gym rather than observing, you'll miss the show.

Colonies of Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), just poking their umbrella-like heads through the fallen leaves, were the first to appear. In a few days, you'll be able to lift the canopies and see the flowers, then the "apples."

Then, after turning a corner and climbing a bluff, the first Rue-anemones --- flowering tiny in both pink and white. Where the Rue-anemones grow, so, too, do the Dutchman's Breeches.

And sure enough, there they were --- like so many pair of diminutive pantaloons hung out to dry on tiny clotheslines.

Plus the bonus of a Red Cup Mushroom sparkling in the fallen leaves.

Then it was time to turn around and head home --- just as the guys who had been clearing fallen trees from the trail farther on were heading back across the water toward Red Haw park headquarters.


miki said...

Thanks for the great pictures. Really made me feel like Spring really will get here soon.

vallihaha said...

Thank you for sending pictures out so people who have abandoned the county can still know that the May-apples, britches, et al spring flowers still bring their beauty to the woodlands. Something I miss from southern Iowa now that Arizona is my home.