Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Spring's Hope- Ephemeral.

You might read that title twice.  Spring's Hope- Ephemeral.  Usually you hear  Alexander Pope's old line "Hope springs eternal (in the human breast.)" But I suggest, nothing is eternal in this natural world and one best admire the ephemeral hope of spring flowers while we can.

Snow Trillium, Trillium nivale
The photo of this flower is larger than life, literally.  This is the tiny Snow trillium, one of the earliest of our spring flowers.  We often find it peeking up through snow banks in March.

Snow Trillium with a little perspective.
Snow Trillium is generally quite small, but the first of this year's crop seem to be Lilliputian! The nickle puts it all in perspective.

As much as I wish you could walk on your local woodlot and find these specialty flowers, it is not likely to happen.  They are few and far between.  Ohio's botanically savvy make pilgrimages across many miles to visit known sites each year.  This location in Adams County. There are a few in Columbus and others, near Clifton Gorge.  Just stumbling across them is nearly impossible, as they also present a challenge to find due to their size alone.

 There are at least eight mini-trilliums growing on this dolomite rock outcropping. Without the nickle to point the way, they are easily over-looked.  Too often properties are developed or destroyed, with no accounting for the rarities which might have been on them.

Land preservation and stewardship carried out by organizations like Ohio Natural Areas and Preserve Association, Ohio Department of Natural Areas and Preserves, The Nature Conservancy, and Arc of Appalachia is more important than ever.

Please help us protect the smallest of our woodland wonders for future wild flower enthusiasts.

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