– Fran Topping

In our wilder areas, spring bloomers open their petals to the sun, a welcome reminder of the inexorable cycle of nature, at least as long as there are wild places for them.

On a recent walk in Trustom Pond (as a federal property, US Fish and Wildlife is still open) the wood anemone and lousewort (Pedicularis canadensis (?) I put the question mark because I have not keyed out the plant to know the species) were blooming while the massive skunk cabbage leaves show where the ground is wet. The bright marsh-marigolds are already gone but ferns are unfurling and the shadbush edges the walks and ponds with “snow in May.” Bastard-toadflax and wild geranium will follow along with yellow star grass in certain places. A large stand of Devil’s walking stick (Aralia spinosa) with its spiny stems will keep one on the straight and narrow. (click on each image to see name of the plant)