Went for a long walk through the woods today, and found summer has started - the woods are turning green. It's just the forest floor so far, but the canopy won't be far behind. It was just a glorious day for going exploring.
If you look closely almost all this green is leaves of the Dog-tooth Violet or Trout Lily. It's a carpet from one end of the woods to the other.
I find there's just something magical about being in the woods in May, and I'll be trying to get out there every day. Today I was alone, one hiking buddy recovering from a cold, and the other gone off on a holiday! I decided to hike a property on the east side of the valley, above the cliffs, that is actually owned by a friend. There was a big rockfall down the cliff here that I wanted to try and find.
I spent most of my time in the woods rather than the old fields, and there were lots of trees to see. This was one of the tallest and straightest!
Wildflowers were popping out of the ground, and a few were already blooming. This is the ghostly purple Blue Cohosh, one of my favourites, because it's such an unusual colour when it emerges, and it grows so fast, an inch or two a day. The tiny flower is very inconspicuous.
Lots of moss on the fallen logs and boulders too. Another group of plants I'd like to learn to identify.
And some of the understory was coming into leaf, like this Elderberry shining in the sun.
I managed to get all the way through to the cliff, where I got a spectacular view over the valley, and watched the Turkey Vultures soar, both above and below me. And I did find that rockfall.
There were a few other critters in the woods, though I heard more than I saw, let alone got pictures of. This is a White-breasted Nuthatch the way you actually see them in the distance on a tree trunk.
A few White Birch trees too. Nothing to beat a bright white birch against a deep blue sky.
I'll be going back to get a lot more pictures this month, my favourite month of the year, starting with the wildflowers. The light in this picture illustrates perfectly the 2-3 short weeks when the 'spring ephemerals' bloom. It's that period when it has warmed up enough, but the leaves haven't come out on the trees yet, so the forest floor gets lots of sunlight. This is when most of our native woodland wildflowers bloom.
I took so many pictures today I have enough posts for a week, just from this location. But I'll be out every other sunny day this week, so I have no idea how I'm going to share them all with you. But I'll try. Tomorrow - the early wildflowers I found.