Mariton: Colorful Signs of Spring

April 10, 2018

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

Photo by Carole Mebus

The Round lobed Hepatica (Hepatica americana) is blooming at Mariton.  The subtle hues of this early spring wildflower always amazes me.  The variations of blue (even white) in the different flowers makes me want to check every one that I come across.  They are just popping up, so by the weekend it should be apparent along some of the trails.  So, watch your step… it even grows in the trails and can be easily trampled.

While I didn’t see any Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) on this morning’s check of the trails, it will be surely be up if the weather person’s forecast is correct.  A couple of sixty degree days and some sunshine and it’s snowy blossoms will light up the trails.  This is flower only blooms for a short time and needs sunlight to unfurl its petals.  This is a part of spring that I look forward too.

Unfortunately, a part of spring that I don’t look forward to is the appearance of mylar balloons caught in tree branches.  While I find these all year round, their appearance seems to peak at the end of winter.  I’ve written about this a number of times as it is a pet peeve of mine and can be easily avoided.  -(Facetiously:) Nothing quite says, “I love you.” like throwing trash on someone else’s property.-  It is quite simple.  When the party is over, take the balloons off the mailbox, and bring them inside for your loved one to enjoy.  When they finally lose altitude, dispose of them correctly.  Or better yet, show how much you really love them by making a donation in their name to Mariton Wildlife Sanctuary, or Natural Lands.   (Seriously this time:) What better way to say “I love you” than to help an organization that allows Hepatica and Bloodroot to thrive.