We have spent our nature study outings for the last three weeks at the local park we know has lots of wildflowers starting to show up this time of year. According to our nature notes from last year, they're actually popping up a few weeks early this time around. And each week we go, there is either a new variety shooting up, or a variety that was already up has bloomed or become more plentiful.
The first of the year in our area are always yellow: wild mustard and bermuda sorrel. On the roadsides, the hillsides, the meadows.
Another early bloomer is the fiddlenecks--two pictures here for comparison. The one on the left was from the first week--you'll notice they aren't very "fiddly" at all. But the next week, more blooms on each stem had opened and they took on their tell-tale curve.
Wild cucumber has pretty white blossoms but no fruit just yet. I just love their delicate--but strong!--tendrils.
The Miner's lettuce is very leafy but not in bloom just yet. The kids love their dew-filled cups, flowers or not.
A new one for us this year: chickweed. The dewdrop-looking flowers with their delicate white fringe are lovely. I brought a stem home to press for our wildflower collection.
Then there are hints of purple peeking out of the dense leaves along the ground. Wild geranium! We have been watching their leaves all winter, waiting for their blooms to appear, so these little purple flowers are a welcome sight. We have spotted one variety blooming so far and a couple more on the way.
And spotted this week: poppies along the highway (that's always where I spot them first, and then I start seeing them along the sidewalks in town), wild radish just about everywhere, and shepherd's purse (which I fittingly found on St. Valentine's Day!). Those wee heart-shaped pods make them one of my favorites despite their not being very showy.
I'll be back later this week to share the Keeping this all has inspired and a fun project we've been doing to bring a bit of spring indoors.
So what's blooming in your area? Has the seasonal shift begun, or is it just snow, snow, and more snow?