Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Sessile Bellwort or Wild Oats
(Uvularia sessilifolia)

Oh what a thing, a northern spring! We went off to the woods in Lanark yesterday as planned, laden down with camera, tripod, lenses, water bottles, insect repellent and cookies for Spencer. Although the trees have not yet leafed fully here, and there was little shade, the day was a treat, sunlight and blue skies, filled with breezes and nascent vegetation bursting forth everywhere. There were (however) great voracious clouds of blackflies, and that made our wandering an exercise for the stout of heart, the foolish and the determined.

I could hear the first returning Rose-breasted Grosbeak singing somewhere just beyond the hill, and a curious Hermit Thrush paused just for a moment on a stump nearby, tilting its head and giving me a puzzled look before flying off.

After telling Lorianne DiSabato at Hoarded Ordinaries this past week that it would be weeks until Sessile Bellwort (or Wild Oats) flowered here, I found a single large clump blooming in the brilliant sunshine along the trail into the deep woods and plopped myself down in the dead leaves to take a few photos. A moment later, along came Spencer who decided my earthbound posture was an occasion for snuggles. Wagging his tail furiously, he climbed into my lap and stayed there, talking, slurping me enthusiastically all over and biting my nose - the clump of Wild Oats suffered somewhat in the process, and it is a good thing that there is a healthy bellwort community on the Two Hundred Acre Wood.

On the way home, we rescued the first of the season's mother snapping turtles from her position in the middle of the road outside the hamlet of Watson's Corners and moved her back into the swamp, making use of the sturdy turtle stick we keep in the back of the Passat for such occasions. Mama did not appreciate our efforts and she let us know it, quivering with rage, lunging, snapping, hissing and biting several large chunks out of our stick. She was a most impressive vision in her dance of indignation, and it was my first look into the maw of an irate snapper.


Anonymous said...

Glad you could fix things up for Mama turtle.

Sky said...

what a productive day and all those spencer kisses must have added a lot of love to it! great shot of the snapping turtle. sorry she didn't realize she was being saved!

Endment said...

We have been watching for Wild Oats but no sign yet here. Going out to look for turtles and such again this weekend at Bashakill - if it doesn't decide to rain.
I am enjoying your stories so much- Thanks Cate