Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Spring Ephemerals - Trout Lilies

Trout Lily
(Erythronium americanum)

Ephemeral they may be, but their moment in the sunshine is something special. For most of you, blooming trout lilies (or dog tooth violets) are already a thing of the past, and you are already well on your way into the wildflowers of late springtime and early summer. Springtime comes much later here, and so, we are still enjoying the vernal ephemerals of forest and hedgerow.

These fragile flowers come and go swiftly in the north woods. They flower quietly, then fade away as the tree canopy opens out in soaring leafy splendour above them and their golden moment in the warm sunlight of springtime dwindles. As if that were not enough, they are constantly elbowed out of the way by the more ebullient trilliums, columbines and wild orchids springing up everywhere, and they are trampled by deer, wild turkeys and heavy-footed humanity blundering through wild places with camera and sketchbook in hand.

In some sense, we too are ephemerals, and it strikes me this morning there are worse things in life than to share the gentle companionship of trout lilies in May. Strange is it not, how one's inner predator can be silenced by such wild things - by trout lilies and violets, grosbeaks and herons, the wind in the trees, the song of my thimbleberry creek as it winds downhill to the beaver pond?

3 comments:

Suzanne said...

I am very moved by this beautiful flower and your words -- as I often am when I visit you. And saying that I felt moved is truly accurate because I felt a soft blossoming of loving energy in my heart when I read your post.

I appreciate so much your being a witness to the wild, wonderful beauty of nature -- for being a connection for me. Thank you, Cate.

Crayons said...

Hi Cate
I like reading your posts for several reasons, but one in particular hits me today. Your use of English makes me remember how beautiful a language it can be. Words like "ebullient" or "elbow out" or .... well I'm not looking at the post now.

I agree with your statement about wildlife that starves the aggressor in me.

colleen said...

They remind me of the trilliums here in the Blue Ridge. They make me smile.