I Am So Ready

What a winter this has been! Temperatures bouncing around, crazy amounts of rain, or sleet, or snow, or any combination of the three… My favorite trails are all a mess of slick mud.

<–a single harbinger-of-spring plant emerging on March 6, 2019

blooming (February 28, 2018) –>

 

 

 

 

Nonetheless I’ve taken a few quick hikes to see if anything’s coming up yet. Last year on March 5, round-lobed hepatica was blooming on the Cabin John Trail, along with a single incredibly early Virginia bluebell. This year on March 5, I saw a single clump of hepatica leaves, without buds.

^ one spring beauty with two buds, March 6, 2019

blooming (April 10, 2018) –>

 

 

On the Billy Goat trails last year I saw the earliest harbingers-of-spring and spring beauties on February 28. This year on March 6, I saw a single harbinger plant barely up, one spring beauty with two buds, a single golden ragwort budding up, and quite a few Virginia bluebell plants poking out of the mud.

^ golden ragwort in bud, March 6, 2019

 blooming (April 5, 2017) –>

 

 

 

It’s going to be an interesting year. Flood damage in the Potomac Gorge is the worst I’ve seen in six years of monitoring the area. Alien invasives are starting to emerge from the mud and sand; did the floods do any real harm to those populations? Will that allow the natives a chance to grow better, or were they equally affected?

^ Virginia bluebells emerging from the mud, March 6, 2019

a stupidly early Virginia bluebell opening on March 5, 2018 –>

 

Hang in there, friends –spring is almost here.

Virginia bluebells carpeting the floodplain (April 10, 2017)

3 thoughts on “I Am So Ready

  1. The invasive exotics that we must contend with become a problem because they have some combination of advantage over the native vegetation. Those that do not are not a problem because they get crowded out by the natives and those with the advantages.

  2. Glad you’re back; I love these reports! I went out on the Difficult Run Stream Valley trail in Oakton, VA Thursday to check on the wildflowers. Bird’s-eye speedwell was the only one I saw blooming. Checked on my favorite patches of hepatica, poked around in the leaves, and found the nubs of the flower stalks just beginning to emerge from the ground. No bluebell plants emerging yet, but maybe the warm weather of the last two days will have brought them up by now.

    I haven’t been up to the Potomac Gorge in probably six months due to the rain and flooding; can only imagine how bad the trails are. Looks like we may have a fairly dry week this week, finally.

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