I made my way out to Alley Park on Wednesday.
Spring has Sprung, the Grass is Ris. I wonder where the Flowers Is.
Well, there they were.
First, just a peek at the hillside for the creek that feeds Lake Loretta.
I love the way the creek (the one I’m standing in) just meanders down the cleft.
I’d also like to mention that the reason I put myself in these photos (aside from the obvious visual appeal ) is just to show that, yes, I do these hikes barefoot. This blog after all is primarily a barefoot blog. Just because I intersperse entries with hiking doesn’t mean there isn’t still barefooting involved.
This hike was a lot more relaxed than the one I did on Saturday, the O’Meara O’Vencha Hike: Spring. On this one I took things more at my own pace (and stopped a lot for pictures). I didn’t even bother with my knee brace, and didn’t need it. I had the chance to more carefully place my feet and get proprioceptive feedback that minimized stresses on my joints. And I did it while carrying 10 more pounds in my pack than on Saturday.
Anyways, April not only has showers, but it also gets sunlight dappling through trees just starting to put forth blossoms and leaves. And the May Apples were coming up, with different stages at different locations, depending on little microclimates determined by sun exposure.
So, let me start with one may apple that had barely emerged from the soil.
It’s working on getting its leave out.
This one’s a bit farther along.
And this one has got them starting spread out a bit.
But there were some that were fully deployed.
That one is sexually immature. From what I’ve read, it takes a year before they are ready for such things.
Here’s one that’s old enough and exposing its sexual organ.
When they are old enough, they produce two leaves, with the flower bud emerging from the crook between the two stems. (And yes, if you think about it, the bud is their sexual organ. You give somebody flowers and you are giving them exposed sex organs, maybe in the hope of exposing some sex organs of your own .)
Here’s that same plant taken while kneeling way down towards the ground.
I kind of like that shot. I am usually quite jealous of how great others’ pictures often are, but every now and again I accidentally produce one with decent composition and lighting.
Of course, the woods had more going on than just may apples. There was also toothwort.
And spring beauties.
Trilliums were also up, but just in a very few locations. This one hadn’t quite gotten its blossom out.
But this one had.
Even the ferns were getting into the act, with this bunch of fiddleheads emerging from the base of spent leaves.
When I started my hike things were pretty cloudy from the previous day’s rain. But the sky cleared as I walked along, so we get to see the sunlight dappling this small buckeye tree.
Buckeyes are almost always the first tree to get its leaves out in the spring.
So yes, April dapples bring May apples.
I just don’t know what may apples bring . . .