This post is about finding beautiful things in unexpected places, which seems to be happening a lot lately.
Curly dock (Rumex crispus) is a roadside weed that wouldn’t win any beauty contests, but the seeds left from last fall were very beautiful indeed.
The orange color found in these new spring maple leaves gives just a hint of the brilliant display that will come later on in the fall.
Pennsylvania Sedge (Carex pensylvanica) blooms when the trout lilies do and can be seen everywhere right now. The upper, creamy yellow parts are the male stamens and the lower white, string like parts are the female pistils. The leaves look a lot like course grass, so this is an easy plant to miss when it isn’t blooming.
These are the fuzziest fern fiddleheads I’ve ever found. I think they are interrupted fern (Osmunda Claytoniana.)
I like looking for last year’s Indian pipe (Monotropa uniflora) plants because they look so very different than the pale, ghostly things they once were. This one looked like it had been carved.
Japanese knot weed (Polygonum cuspidatum ) is one of the most invasive plants known but in early spring, just as the new shoots are coming up, they are amazing things to behold. I always want to sit beside them and draw them so I can gain a better understanding of their remarkable curves, twists and turns.
The just opened buds of lilac (Syringa) look like tiny grape clusters.
A man stopped while I was taking pictures one day and asked me what I was doing. After talking for a while he gave me a tip about where I might find some ram’s head lady’s slippers (Cypripedium arietinum) which the Forest Service lists as “rare and critically imperiled” in New Hampshire. Needless to say if the man who told me about them was correct, it would be quite a find. Unfortunately, he also told me that people used to dig them up at that location. In any event, I’m watching the shoots of the pink lady’s slipper in the above photo, hoping they’ll tell me when I should look for the ram’s head orchids. They are a very beautiful flower that is rarely seen.
The woody seed pod of a pink lady’s slipper (Cypripedium acaule.) Several of these plants have colonized my yard and I’m very happy to see them producing seeds.
Striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum ) buds show hints of pink, rose, and even orange, according to my color finding software. I don’t see all of those colors when I look at them, but they seem to have an aura, almost as if they were lit from within.
At this time of year it looks as if someone had traveled through the forest with a basket of green and silver feathers, hanging them on the branch tips of all the Beech trees (Fagus grandifolia.)
My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth’s loveliness. ~Michelangelo
Thanks for coming by.