May 24, 2019
We’ve fulfilled all of our commitments for our book until Saturday morning at Gooseberry Falls State Park, where we’ll give a wildflower talk and go on a wildflower walk. Today is a day dedicated to more wildflower searching up the north shore, hopeful against the forecast of rain.
Marsh marigolds beam from roadside ditches and wet patches of ground, and Canada mayflower leaves dot the forest floor along the highway. But the farther north we drive, the more we feel we have left the blooming edge of spring behind. By the time we reach Tettegouche State Park where a naturalist assures us we’ll find wildflowers everywhere, it’s clear that while we find the leaves of bluebead lily, Canada mayflower, and last year’s bunchberry the flowers themselves are biding their time, perhaps waiting for the temperature to climb out of the low forties or for the sun to shine down on them.
Even though we don’t see flowers at Tettegouche, our hike up the Cascade trail takes us past the Baptism river in full flood, water rolling and roiling over rocks in foaming waves that even an expert kayaker might balk at. We hike back to the car and head for our Two Harbors hotel. Unable to resist, we make one last quick stop at Gooseberry Falls State Park to check on arctic relicts.
And there along the rocky shore in driving, bitterly cold rain we find bird’s eye primrose flowers, more than we’ve ever seen before. It’s way too windy and wet for Kelly to bring out her camera, but she braves the piercing wind and rain to take a phone shot of these determined flowers. Not only do the bird’s-eye primrose not mind the weather, they seem to flourish in it while we lesser humans run for the car.
Tomorrow we hope for sunshine and more flowers, but for today, the tiny pink bird’s eye primrose blossoms gladden our hearts.