Last year at this time I was with my mother in Vermont. I arrived just as she was released from the hospital following an emergency surgery. During the three weeks that we spent together, the days and nights blurred together as we waited for her body to heal, coaxing her appetite to return and learning ways to make each day more comfortable. While we were engrossed in our post-operative return-to-life, the woods around my mother’s house were also returning from the long cold winter to the promised new life of springtime. I was able to take a daily walk in the woods to become re-acquainted with the miracle of a Vermont springtime that I have missed for so many years. The last days of April and the first weeks of May are magical in the woods! Here are some of the wildflowers that grow near our family home in Central Vermont.
The ground seems dead just after the snow has melted. Soft, carpeted in decaying leaves and pine needles. The wind whistles through the tops of the trees but the path in the woods is quiet and calm.
Some of the first plants to grow are the Spring Beauties. They can sprout up through the melting snow and bloom throughout the spring season.
The foliage of Adder’s Tongue can be solid green or variegated like a snake’s body. The pretty little yellow lily is one of my favorite flowers of springtime in Vermont.
As the ferns begin to emerge from the ground, the look like the end of a violin…so they’re called Fiddle Heads. They can be cut and eaten, considered a woodland delicacy in Vermont and served in local restaurants in the spring.
The fiddleheads grow taller and unfurl to become large ferns!
When the Hepatica begin to bloom, Springtime in Vermont is in full swing. Other woodland flowers will be blooming soon after…like Dutchman’s Britches and Red Trillium.
The maple sugaring season is long over…it happens before the snow has melted, when the warm sun causes the sap to run. The maple trees begin to bloom, the leaves begin to grow, and baby maple trees sprout in the woods!
Springtime moves quickly, once it gets started. If you walk in the woods and meadows, you will notice the changes each day. After a long, cold winter, spring seems like a miracle that happens every year!
To be continued….