Forest Signs of Spring

Wandering around the forest yesterday I discovered spring is coming quickly to push the winter blues away. The periwinkle ground cover (above) seemed to be going all out with a bit of blue in a brown world.

My main goal was to check on the trillium patches I have been following year after year.  Want a peek at last year’s blooms?  Here is the Trillium Link.

Here is what they are doing right now. Just baby shoots that look a lot like tulips coming up. I usually find them in full bloom at the end of March or early April so stay tuned for that update.

Trilliums popping up. They should be blooming in a couple of weeks.

When I turned around from the trillium hunt I found huge patches of skunk cabbage sprouted and flowering in the swamp areas.  They are pretty spectacular with their big bulb yellow flower.  They get kind of stinky later as it warms up.

Skunk Cabbage making the swamp actually pretty

Then there was this bush all ablaze in white blossoms.  It is what I call Indian Plum and others call Osoberry. Its scientific name is Oemleria cerasiformis and is one of the earliest plants to bud out each year.  Wiki tells us how it is edible:

The fruits of osoberry are edible and resemble small plums which are dark blue when ripe. Indigenous peoples of the Americas include osoberry in their diets, make tea of the bark, and chew its twigs to use as a mild anesthetic and aphrodisiac.

Indian Plum flowers were everywhere

Another edible plant that most of us in the Northwest know of is the tasty but seedy Salmonberry. This little pink-yellow berry that is shaped like a blackberry grows in thickets but are more upright than the briers of black and raspberry bushes.

Flashes of pink in the forest from salmonberry blooms

Another tender berry that is budding is the wild huckleberry. This is the tiny red ones that like to grow on old stumps. The buds were so tiny my camera wanted to focus on the background but I conquered it after a few tries.

Red Huckleberry delicate buds

Then we have the big white cherry tree growing in the creek ravine. I am surprised I never saw it there next to Fauntleroy creek or if I did I just let the memory evaporate. It was a splendid reminder of spring coming.

White Cherry Tree in the Forest

Next is a view that shows you how little this tree is in the steep ravine. Up on the ridge behind the white blooms is an old grove of dark green cedars.  Lower the light brown background is all salmonberry bushes. Their stalks are a bit of rusty color. Lot of contrast here.

This is more of what my view was than the zoomed up photo above

As I walked down the alley to exit the park I ran into a white camellia bush that was in full swing.  Check out the series of distant to closer up photos.  At last Spring & Daylight Savings Time are right around the corner now.

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