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Crow’s Nest: Peak spring bloom

May 5, 2021

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

As is often the case, I’ve fallen behind on providing an update on spring blooms. It’s a wonderful sight and I encourage everyone to get out here to see what’s new. I try to snap photos, even if they aren’t great compositions, so that the date is recorded each year for plants’ blooming times—one way to track the phenology (the time of year that natural events occur).

I refer to past years’ weblog entries for when things were in bloom (but try not to repeat them). Here’s last year’s early May writeup which has many of the same species blooming as today. Spring beauty, wild geranium, Mayapple, and marsh marigold are all blooming. Pinxterbloom azalea and pink ladies’ slipper and showy orchis have just started blooming. In addition, high bush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) is flowering (below).

Photo: Daniel Barringer

Below, Virginia pennywort (Obolaria virginica) is blooming as well. It’s not abundant here; this one is growing by the entrance to the Warwick Woods section of the preserve. You can read more about it in this May, 2016 Field Note that Tim Burris wrote. It’s also worth clicking the link to see Carole Mebus’ beautiful photos.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

We don’t have as much perfoliated bellwort (Uvularia perfoliata, below) as Mariton Wildlife Sanctuary, but it is currently blooming here along Piersol Road and sporadically in the Deep Woods off of Northside Road.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

As Tim previously noted, spring is not all about flowers; yesterday was the first day I heard the gray tree frog calling in Warwick Woods, and we’ve enjoyed wood thrush singing (my favorite) in the mornings for a week now.

We’re still cleaning up the winter’s hazard tree work, including the ash trees killed by Emerald Ash Borer. I admired the tree rings on this ash log—a tree a bit younger than me. Makes me think about life!

Photo: Daniel Barringer

Here’s the big picture from here—the Chief’s Grove and meadows (including the portion we burned this spring), farm fields, and the restored stream section meandering through a wet meadow now planted with shrubs and trees.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

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