Black Tulip Fungi
Wild Dutchman's Breeches
My neighbor who turned 32 this week wanted to go for a nice long hike with me...sans the children. We've gone on short hikes because even though her three year old is a tough little hiker, I was pretty sure he wasn't going to enjoy this hard hike.
We covered about 3 miles under the canopy of more than one forest mini eco-system.
Near my place there were no flowers blossoming and just the mayflowers were beginning to poke there heads up like little torpedoes through the leaves.
She has studied plants and I have studied the forest floor. She could give me the proper scientific names and I could ID the plant with the common name.
We headed through our land into the valley across the creek and up onto the ridge. We took a fast walk over what we fondly call 'the velodrome' which is an open ridge. It was farmed two years ago and no one did a thing with it last year.
As we dropped onto the trail that lead to the 'back' valley, flowers began to be noticeable in abundance.
Everywhere we looked there was beautiful hues of white, pink, purple, and blues.
The Hepatica were up ... and another plant I call Virginia Pinks which are actually Virginia Spring Beauties.
I was disappointed not to be able to find the Blood Root, but I'm pretty sure they'll come on strong as soon as the weather warms.
Well we wondered into the 'hidden' valley, crossed the creek and found skunk cabbage in all of its glory.
Then off we went while I pointed out landmarks that would soon disappear with the greening of the woods.
We went past the 'ice' cave and did some ravine exploring.
When we got back to the first valley, we crossed that creek and headed back through the old mule trail. I did a little half step and trip but didn't fall.
I laughed and said something about one day I'd probably fall down and not be able to do this sort of hike any more.
My good young friend said, "You do so well for your..."
I could literally hear her mouth slam shut.
I laughed. "For my age?"
"Um, no," she recovered, "most people my age couldn't keep up with you!"
Funny, I don't feel that 'aged'.
We had a great time.