April 10, 2013

It's finally spring!

Spring certainly is making up for lost time! All it took were a few warm nights and sunny days and now our garden is full of blooming daffodils and forsythia, some early magnolias in the neighborhood are looking magnificent, and lots is happening in the woods. Here is a sample of what mid-April looks like in a few Ohio natural areas.

No trees have completely leafed out yet, but buds are swelling, leaves are starting to unfurl, and a few woody plants are blooming:

On Tuesday we heard and saw some of our earliest migrant songbirds: Louisiana waterthrush, yellow-throated warbler, northern parula, and yellow-rumped warbler. A handsome fox sparrow stopped on its way north to turn over some leaves, checking for food:

Some birds are already nesting. Here is an eastern phoebe, pausing before taking this wispy material to its nest under a bridge along a lovely stream:

The wildflower show is spectacular. Sharp-lobed hepatica, one of our earliest bloomers, is still the most abundant wildflower and it has to be one of the most beautiful. This delicate violet is my favorite of its many colors:

The large-flowered trillium is just starting to open:

What could be prettier than a trout lily, in either its yellow form or the more unusual white?

The odd flowers of the blue cohosh are in full bloom:

Delicate twinleaf has pushed through the leaf litter and is just starting to bloom:

The Virginia bluebells are showing great color and will be spectacular in a few days:

Bloodroot, one of my favorite flowers, is in full bloom while its leaf is still curled around the stem:

Umbrella-like mayapple leaves are beginning to unfurl:

The toadshade or sessile trillium is still in bud, but the mottled leaves are so distinctive:

Here's a fun flower--Dutchman's breeches!

A few early butterflies are flying, including mourning cloak, eastern comma and spring azure. And this box turtle is out and about, having finished its winter underground hibernation:

This has to be my favorite time of year as we greet the return of all these plants and animals!


  1. I felt good just seeing all these pictures and getting to the last one--the box turtle--made me so happy. We just arrived in Baltimore where it was wonderful to see magnolias, forsythia, redbud, and lots of daffodils as we drove in from the airport. It snowed yesterday in Wisconsin!

  2. I really enjoyed your photos. I am glad that you included the one of the Eastern phoebe. I just saw this recently, but I didn't know what it was.