Spring in the Adares…

While it is late January and temperatures are in the twenties this morning, I can’t help but think of warmer mornings and the fact that we will be seeing wildflowers in just six short weeks! Despite the fact that I have been in my new home for over two years, I have not ventured into the surrounding woods and hills and actively searched for wildflowers. The vacant lots are full of summer wildflowers but I have a feeling that our surrounding pine and oak woodlands might hold a jewel or two and I am going to find out starting on a warmer than today morning in mid-March.

I have walked the recently repaired roads on the north subdivision expansion and those woods are full of deer, a few bobcats (I have seen two!), a few skunks, and more than necessary coyotes. A worker told me a year ago that a bear was spotted just north of here – I think he was hammering more than nails.

So if wildflowers exist around us (and I am sure they do), what could they possibly be? Purple Hepatica would be a great find. Toothwort and Anemone are surely there and perhaps a Trillium or three. The only way to find out is to walk the walk, search the hills, and uncover bloom by bloom. Where would one search? An obvious and relatively easy place would be along the edges of our oak-pine woods such as the entrance parkway; the undeveloped roads have edges that are still wild; and, the “back 40” are all viable habitats. There is a remote possibility that in mid-April, someone (I hope it is me!) will find a Ladies’ Slipper, a Fire Pink, or a red Columbine. I would take a photo and share it with everyone and lead small groups to such a finding. There is a possibility that even rarer varieties are hidden in areas where no one has ventured in decades.

Here re a few photos of possibilities that may lurk in our deep, dark woods.

The Hepatica, or Liverwort, blooms in mid-March. The leaf is three lobed and one is in the exact center of the photo. The larger leaf to the left might be an early violet.
The Toothwort is another early bloomer with distinctive leaves.
Anemones come in several varieties and bloom during March and April.
The Wakerobin or Sessile Trillium was common in Kennesaw, my previous home, and I am sure it lives here too.
If we found a Ladies Slipper, we would somehow have to protect them from new home development.
I have found Fire Pinks a little north of here, but, who knows, we may have a small population.
Wild Columbine are growing several miles south of us and I bet we have some too.
Trout Lilly is another mid-march beauty and is found in wetter areas throughout Bartow County.

If we could find just half of these, wouldn’t it make for a great Spring!!!

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