Back in the Potomac Gorge


aka pepper-and-salt
Erigenia bulbosa


Yesterday I finally got back out to Carderock after a two-week absence, and was delighted to find that rumors of harbinger-of-spring in bloom were true. And there were spring beauties, of course, though not many yet.  20160316-_DSC0053

dime shot for scale




Other plants seen:

  • a single, precocious star chickweed flower
  • a single, precocious early saxifrage flower
  • spicebush in bloom
  • new growth of Virginia bluebells, one mound with buds just visible
  • two cutleaf toothworts in bud
  • trout lily foliage
  • long-tube valerian foliage
  • early meadow rue foliage
  • Dutchman’s breeches and squirrel corn foliage




Lindera benzoin

Farewell for Now


The weather’s getting colder [actually not, we’re having an unusual warm spell], the leaves are off the trees, the perennial wildflowers are dormant: the season is done. And so is this blog, for a little while. I’ll make an occasional post if I find something interesting or lovely while out and about, things like plants going to seed or nice landscapes. I’ll post the Three Views shots in early December. And probably some time in early March I’ll be out again looking for harbinger-of-spring to emerge, and the blog will re-emerge, too. Farewell for now!


above: bumblebee departing riverbank goldenrod

below: sunset on the Potomac near C&O Canal Lock 8, October 20

bottom: harbinger-of-spring last March



Flower of the Day: Harbinger-of-Spring


Erigenia bulbosa

I started this blog on April Fools’ Day, 2014, noting that I couldn’t remember a colder winter.  Well, guess what?  2015’s been pretty damn cold, too.  The plants are off to an even slower start this year.


But I did find harbinger-of-spring yesterday (it was my first Flower of the Day feature last year). Not a bad way to start the season. This tiny plant in the carrot family can be very difficult to spot amongst the leaf litter, as it stands only a few inches tall; each cluster of flowers measures only a quarter inch across.



To put that into perspective, note the medium-sized maple leaf lying next to the plant.




Next up, a really strange plant that is, as far as I can tell, the earliest blooming one in the area.