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Crow’s Nest: Spring’s beauty

April 17, 2019

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

No, not spring beauty (Claytonia virginica)—though that is blooming right now. This is just a quick check-in with the rapidly advancing season. Spring is blowing by so fast now that blog posts can’t keep up with it; come by and see for yourself!

First is skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus), now in full foliage. It occurs in wet areas throughout the preserve; here it is in a power line right-of-way where we are managing to remove multiflora rose and vines to keep this area open.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

This is early evening as I walk the dogs; dramatic sky and strong April light.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

The red blush of the forest is no longer the flowers of red maple (Acer rubrum) but the early growth of the samaras which follow the flowers.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

In the field we burned above the Chief’s Grove, an unusual spot of concentrated green (below). Since I don’t believe in crop circles and similar phenomena, I think this spot might have been where a deer died a couple years ago, contributing its nutrients to the soil for extra growth of the warm-season grasses there.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

Again, walking the dogs past the barn with the red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) that I planted years ago with the hope that it would eventually peek over the wall…

Photo: Daniel Barringer

The hard April sun also sets off the bold trunk of our catalpa tree (below). This is a time of year to catch up on many invasive plant management projects and other things that won’t be possible once mowing season is in full blast and growth becomes so rank that it is difficult to keep pace with.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

And finally, a photo of spring beauties by Denis Manchon:

Photo: Denis Manchon

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