There are few things in this world more enchanting to me than woodland wildflowers. Ok, maybe pumpkins and moss…. it’s a toss-up with those three. But wildflowers are right up on the top of the list, especially right now when the first breaths of spring blow our way. It was a long, long winter that was really stubborn and did not want to leave. I’m not sure what made winter so at home this year, but it took some convincing that he’d be late for his visit with the southern hemisphere if he didn’t leave. Finally by mid-April he seemed content enough to wander off and let the other seasons have a visit. Spring was impatient about having to wait so long to be ushered in and consequently was rushed in her attempts to paint the landscape. After a few weeks, we already have Summer hovering at the door wondering if he can come earlier than expected for his stay. Sigh! What is it with these mercurial seasons?!
One of my family’s favorite places to be is Spring Mill State Park (so much so that I’m afraid we’ve neglected the other state parks). We have gotten into a routine of visiting 3 times a year – winter, spring, and fall. It’s beautiful year round and each season brings its charms to the forest. In past years we’ve gone for our spring visit in early May and most of the wildflowers are already gone. This year our schedule allowed for a visit towards the middle-end of April. I thought we’d have an early spring like the last few years and we’d be peak for wildflower season.
Do to the slight confusion on the part of the seasons on their visiting schedule, Spring was late and by the time our trip drew near there was really no sign that Spring would be showing up this year and I was disappointed that we would still not see many wildflowers this year. None of the trees had leaves at this point (in fact most just got them last week) but I was still happy to be visiting one of my favorite places and would enjoy the peaceful quiet of the forest regardless.
However, once we started hiking, we were amazed at the profundity of the hardy little wildflowers. There they were – peeking out of the barely thawed ground and forging a spring out of nothing. My heart dearly loves these precious flowers that create color and beauty out of a drab landscape. They speak so eloquently of the secrets of life and God’s love and care. In a world that could have been dreary and colorless, God choose instead to infuse it with seasons that would produce beauty, life, and rest in their turn and amaze us always with His creative love.
We saw so many beautiful flowers – the redbuds were in bloom around the lake, which was stunning. In addition we say bellwort, dutchman’s breeches (I love that name!), spring beauty, anemone, yellow wood poppies trout lilies, jack in the pulpit, and my favorites… trillium! The forest was bursting with trillium and I made it my special mission to photograph every one I could get within range of my lens. This made for very long hikes, let me tell you, but it was well worth it and I enjoyed saying hello to each one and telling them how beautiful they were.
It felt like being in a fairy forest. It was such a joy to roam the paths of wooded trees, basking in the dappled sunlight, and rejoicing in the new growth that filled the leaf-strewn ground. These little plants emerged from the dark earth, each with their own story to tell, and announcing that spring is here again. Welcome Spring and welcome to all the flowers that grace our gardens and forest with beauty.
Blessings to you,