Monday, May 01, 2006

Wake Robins for Beltane (May Day)

Red Trillium or Wake Robin (Trillium erectum)

Here are the happy contours of my own small Beltane (or May Day) observance. It was a glorious weekend here in the north, and almost the entire time has been spent rambling in the sunny woodlands of the Lanark Highlands. This weekend, I wandered for many hours and many miles, and as I walked the hills, the forest was greening up visibly all around me — the whole countryside seemed to be dancing. There are no man-made may poles in the greenwood of course, but every single living tree is a natural may pole.

Yesterday morning, it was delightful to find scores of Red Trilliums (Wake Robins) blooming in shady alcoves here and there all through the woods, although their less colorful but equally showy white and painted cousins are not quite ready to bloom. This rich deep trillium has an unpleasant fragrance which attracts pollinating insects and at the same time repels some of the foraging vegetarian residents of the forest. The presence of Wake Robins is a clear indication that my few hundred wild acres are part of an old growth woodland, one which has its roots firmly planted in an acid soil rich in nutrients and composted leaf matter (humus).

Happy Beltane, happy May Day to all,


Endment said...

How wonderful --- We found trillium yesterday on our rambles. I do love these beautiful flowers but most of all I love the wandering through the woods and along the streams to reach their home! Will show you some of our trillium later today

Happy May Day

Joanna Colbert said...

Ah, these trilliums brighten my soul . . . I've seen lighter shades of pink and purple here in the NW woods, but never this deep red. What a gift. Thank you.

Beltane said...

Happy Beltane!