Guess what? The temperature was in the high 80’s. It felt like summer. Maybe that was why we found some surprises in the woods. As we began the 2 hour walk around the south meadow we saw the sweetgum and sassafras trees almost in full bloom. Entering the woods we were greeted by masses of spring beauties and mayapples. Some of the mayapples have buds ready to open.
It is hard to explain the panorama at various places on our walk. At one point we could see the dogwoods’ white lacey blossoms all around us in the distance. Photography cannot do it justice. We need our peripheral vision and our spirit to take it all in. At another time coming down from a slight ridge we saw the creek below just covered with large skunk cabbage leaves and delicate spring beauty blossoms. Coming closer we saw that some of the greenery included jack in the pulpits, netted chain fern and white flowering cress. Earlier as if to tease us, we first saw one early lady slipper just poking through the ground. Several hundred feet further we saw another all the way up with a blossom bud and even further along another single plant with the flower fully open but still green. Nature is extraordinary in her revelations.
More Christmas and woods fern were visible by the water especially near where we had to ford the stream. Friendly logs made it easier. The trout lilies are finished blooming but we saw some seed pods. On our return we saw some seed pods of bloodroot along the Creekside trail. We ran out of time or we would have gone further to see the pawpaw blossoms, Virginia bluebells and golden ragwort. Ah well you can’t do it all in one day even with 2 hours. Ann our photographer mentioned that they found some morel mushrooms. I would like to have seen them.
The one hour tour led by Norma J E was excellent, I am told. We each had about half the guests which I think was about 20 total. Some came just for the walk and later decided to stay for the luncheon.
Our hardworking volunteers included Suzie N, Michele W, Jennifer D, Norma E, (Lynn L, and Zaida W, also brought desserts), Pat B, and Nancy B (decorator). Jenny H was helping at the front desk. Cathy E, and Buck S, had everything out and ready. It really is quite a lot of work to do these soup & walks and I very much appreciate how everyone just pitches in and gets it done. I think these events are another tangible way to showcase our arboretum and share it with others.