Sunday, March 28, 2010

Early spring blooms

The early spring-blooming perennials have been brightening our days for a few weeks now - crocuses, daffodils, and now the hyacinths are opening up.  Forsythia and tulips won't be far behind.  Dandelions are already showing their tufted yellow manes, and I'm pretty sure I've even seen dandelion fuzz flying through the air already!  That's one plant that doesn't waste any time going to seed (much to the dismay of those who like to keep a manicured lawn).  It's at this time of year that I tend to shift my focus from birds to flowers.  It's only natural - as the trees begin to leaf out, it becomes harder to see the birds perched within the canopy, so why not look down at something that's not going to fly away on a dime?

There are two early-blooming wildflowers that I have noticed already on our property:  Coltsfolt and Rue Anemone.  I'm sure there are more, but these are the only two I have spotted so far with minimal observation.


Don't count on this photo to help you identify Coltsfoot. I haven't captured any images of them with the flowers fully opened, unfortunately. They could be easily mistaken for the dandelion at a quick glance, but the flowers are quite a bit smaller, and there are brown markings on the stem that dandies don't have. Also, the stems are leafless until after the flower has set seed. The leaves resemble a colt's foot, thus the common name. Coltsfoot is a common medicinal herb used to soothe upper respiratory ailments such as coughs, asthma, and bronchitis, but recent studies have detected a compound in the plant which can lead to liver damage, so it should be used sparingly.


Rue Anemone was my most recent floral find. This is a first for the property as far as my findings are concerned. I could have easily overlooked it, which I have obviously done in past springs. It's quite a dainty plant, and I found it growing behind our abandoned compost bin just above the creek.




I love all the little blooms that are still so tiny, just waiting to burst forth. I took these photos between rain showers today, which made for all these lovely water droplets caught on the leaves and petals.



What's blooming in your neck of the woods?

15 comments:

Tom said...

Even here in the city, I saw a few blooming spring beauties in our park along the Olentangy River yesterday. Today I'm headed up to Delaware county to see what I can find. One question for you Heather- are you shooting in RAW format?

Tom

Kelly said...

...just beautiful, Heather! We don't have much growing here yet. Daffies have bloomed, but our warmer temps this week will no doubt bring out the spring blooms!

Heather said...

Tom - Is there anything in particular that you'll be looking for up in Delaware county? To answer your question, I am not shooting in RAW, just jpeg. I've only shot RAW a few times (because it was required for a competition that I took part in), but I don't really feel the need for it. Now my question for you: are you literally seeing Spring Beauties, or was that a figurative reference?

Kelly - Thank you! I was looking at some of my pictures from last year, and I see that the daffies in my yard are behind where they were this time last year (they still haven't bloomed yet this year). I'm sure the warmer weather this week will do wonders for all the blooms.

Joy K. said...

We've got henbit all over the place, and the grape hyacinths are bursting with purple. Ten-petaled Anemone and Field Pansy are the two I just identified this weekend.

Meg said...

My goodness, you make the rue anemone look like the finest hothouse flower on the planet! She's gorgeous.
They aren't spring beauties (yet), but there is another little tiny white flower coming up in the lawn around the cabin. And a buttery yellow flower that grows in the creek bed is up also. Sorry. I am so very bad at names of wild things. (Bad, bad nature blog commenter.) I love them, though! And I love coming here to see them displayed in their finery. Thank you!

ksdoolittle said...

Your Rue Anenomes are absolutely gorgeous! Nothing blooming up here, yet, but I'm on the lookout! It's difficult to know weather to look up or down, isn't it? I spend a lot of time with my sister, who's a botanist, and her husband, the birder. I never know who to follow, whether to look up or down! But have managed to divide it up enough to learn quite a bit from them both. Happy Spring, Heather! ~karen

Carol Mattingly said...

Heather, Fantastic, beautiful, so soft and serene. Spring. I love this time of year. Thank you for sharing. I read your blog every post. Carol

Heather said...

Joy - I've seen the henbit around quite a bit, too. Ten-petaled anemone, now that sounds like a very cool flower. I'm going to have to look that one up. Thanks for sharing your observations!

Meg - Girl, you know they are ALL the finest flowers on the planet. And I don't care if you know the names of them or not - the love is what is important. I'm curious about your buttery yellow flower, though... I haven't seen any flowers that fit that color description yet!

Karen - Sorry, I know you guys must be behind us on the blooms up there. Do you at least have your Red-winged blackbirds yet? Sounds like your sister and her husband are quite the duo - you must learn a lot from them. How cool! Sending thoughts of flowers and warmer weather to you!

Carol - Thank you so much. I love spring too - so much going on, so much to see, a new flower or bird every day, it seems. Happy Spring to you!

KaHolly said...

No Red-winged blackbirds yet, that I've observed, but there were 4 Great Blue Herons flying over yesterday afternoon!! That was pretty exciting! ~karen

KaHolly said...

My sister and her husband, yes, quite the pair! Most of the pictures I have of Don are of him "patiently waiting" for Hollis to catch up!! ~karen

Meg said...

I'll get a picture of the flower in the creek bed for you. Also, found coltsfoot in the old township road yesterday (while walking Duke : ) Thanks for helping me name it!!!

Heather said...

Karen - That's cool about the herons! I saw one the other day, too!

Meg - That would be cool. Glad you were able to put a name to a face on the coltsfoot!

Shelley said...

You really are queen of the flower photos!!

Andy said...

You have a knack for great macros!

Heather said...

Shelley - Thanks! Now let me go find my crown...! ;)

Andy - Thank you so much!