– by Kathy Barton
Social distancing has definitely put a crimp in socializing. But hey! we’re wild plant people and we have friends that don’t have two legs or four legs or even any legs at all (except maybe the walking fern).

It’s spring and now is the time to become reacquainted with the woods and the folk that we haven’t seen in a year. What can be more exciting than walking in the spring woods and coming face to face (no mask needed) with hepatica (USDA:Hepatica nobilis var. obtuse; GoBotany: Anemone acutiloba) wrapped in her furs to keep warm.

Along a gushing spring brook you can find skunk-cabbage (USDA/GoBotany: Symplocarpus foetidus) dabbling her toes in water and just waiting for a visit either from you or the flies that pollinate her flowers. Personally, I think that she’s more interested in the flies, but we all have friend or two like that.

The spring sun brings out the best of rue anemone (USDA/GoBotany: Thalictrum thalictroides). Her delicate leaves dance in the light breezes and delight the soul. If you are lucky in your rambles, you may even find bloodroot (USDA/GoBotany: Sanguinaria canadensis). She is a speed demon whose flowers burst forth and in three days have scattered their petals over the woodland floor. Time (and bloodroot) waits for no one.

So go adventuring in the woods and renew not only your soul but your acquaintance with your green neighbors at one of the best times of year—Spring!