I guess it's important to keep looking up, especially in troubled times, but if you don't look down too you're liable to miss a lot --- especially when everything big and showy has suddently burst into full bloom and is grabbing all the attention. The woodland flowers, considerably more subtle, are flourishing, too, but you've got to pay attention to find them.
The white violet, above, is among the thousands that bloom alongside blue in the back yard grass --- unlike the front yard grass, which has been sprayed with poison to facilitate peace in the neighborhood.
The yellow violets were blooming alongside the trails at Red Haw when I was out that way on Friday.
Wild phlox, smaller and less showy that cultivated garden varieties, also are in full bloom right now.
Mayapples also are blanketing sections of the woods with their big umbrellas, but have not quite opened their blossoms yet.
These are among the anemones, I think --- or are they spring beauties? I didn't spend as much time on this as I should have.
And winter cress, adding another touch of yellow to the woodland show.
Several of us, orphaned or partially so by time or distance, got together for lunch and the afternoon at Mary Ellen's, down along the South Chariton on Sunday. What a great day! Deer were crossing the road as I crossed the river and wild turkeys, navigating ravines in clumsy flight.
Late in the day, and totally unexpected, we came face to face --- more or less --- with a pair of barn owls, fairly rare nowadays. I'm kind of sworn to secrecy on their location, since the pair is rare enough to attract tourists and they shouldn't be disturbed.
We also have owls of one variety or another, and I suspect barn, perching under the overhang at the highest point of the barn on the museum grounds. They're causing a little unrest by spashing the siding and leaving souvenirs on the patio beneath, but so far none of us have seen them. They don't seem to be able to get into the barn, so this appears to be a night-time perch.