Buttercups are familiar to most people with their distinctive shiny five petals. That flashy luster helps reflect sunlight to warm up the reproductive parts of the flower which are held above the yellow petals.
The alder leaf beetle can be found on alder shrubs now, though it is a surprise to me that no one calls this a “sapphire alder beetle” given their flashy color.
Now is the time to sniff out your local wild cherry thicket so you know where to return once the fruits are ready this summer. Look for the long clusters of cherry flowers, a harbinger of a good jelly-making season to come.
Goldthread is a diminutive member of the buttercup family that is primarily at home in moist, mossy woodlands. The star-shaped flowers of goldthread emerge from a single stem held slightly above the leaves. Each flower displays five to seven pure white petals encircling a clump of yellow stamens.
Even now as deciduous leaves are developing by the day, beginning as a pale spring green, I still find myself drawn to the deep greens that so many mosses provide. To understand mosses, it is important to understand the difference between vascular and non-vascular plants.
There is one overlooked flower that announces the estimated arrival date of the first rubies of summer: the wild strawberry.
May 1st marks the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice on a day known to many as Beltane.
Violets are beginning to bloom now. These delightful wild edibles trick ants into doing their bidding.
Dandelions, those yellow-flowered asters of lawn, field, and garden that turn into irresistible round seedheads aching to be blown into the wind, offer us some of the first nutritious spring greens. But to find them, you have to get moving outdoors and tuned into the seasonal signs that tell you when and where to find them.