Monday, May 19, 2014

Rain-kissed Spring Ephemerals

As May begins to wind down, I feel exhaustion setting in as life has been moving less at the speed of a plant and more at the frenetic pace of an American Redstart or Ruby-crowned Kinglet during migration. I've resisted the urge to get adequate rest in lieu of seizing the short window of time in which not only are birds moving through southern Wisconsin, but the landscape is continually changing over in waves of spring ephemerals.

Rue Anemone

Surely this is a season of sensory overload...

Starry False Solomon's Seal

The late morning to early afternoon are typically the ideal time to take a break from birding to enjoy the ever-changing plantlife that emerges, blooms and quickly senesces during spring.

Wild Geranium
In between rain showers today, I found myself wandering in a new area in Dane County. My attention quickly turned to the ground where I became enamoured with the various wildflowers and ferns decorated with raindrops.

Starry False Solomon's Seal

Starry False Solomon's Seal

I found my favorite fern newly emerging....

Maiden Hair Fern

Most of the hairy vines hugging the trees appeared to be Virginia Creeper, but Poison Ivy was also lurking around the forest floor often mixed in with the creeper. This sinister plant, while being a great food resource for birds, often hides in the shadows of other plants waiting to deliver an allergic rash to some unsuspecting human.  At least for today, it won't be me!

Virginia Creeper

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