March 13, 2021
A year ago on March 8 we gave what turned out to be our last in-person talk of 2020 about wildflower chasing (we didn’t know then how covid would shut things down). Then, because the day was gorgeous, we went out and found skunk cabbage, the earliest wildflower, blooming.
This year, on March 13, we gave our first wildflower chasing talk of the year for the St. Croix Valley Master Gardeners Association via Zoom and YouTube. Then, because the day was gorgeous and skunk cabbage had already been spotted blooming, we went out looking for the next early wildflowers and found the tiniest beginnings of snow trillium and pasqueflower.
Lots of rain and warmth had melted away the snow cover of a week ago, and tiny shoots from a 1/16th of an inch to ½ an inch were poking through the ground on a wooded slope where snow trilliums grow. Knowing how fast snow trilliums crop up and ephemerally vanish again, we’ll be making at least a few more trips to make sure we don’t miss their elegant white blooms. Last year’s hepatica leaves, purply red, were also making their appearance from where the snow had hidden them over the winter. Soon enough their pale blue flowers, too, will open against the brown leaf cover of last year’s deciduous trees.
Farther along the road on a sand dune we found the first little brown buds of furry pasqueflowers almost hidden in their dried nests of last year’s leaves. When they open, like graceful prairie crocuses, we’ll be back to bask in their loveliness.
A high blue sky arched overhead, and the fresh scent of recent rain and melting snow promised a very welcome spring. Add to those the opportunity to talk with fellow wildflower lovers about our shared passion, and we couldn’t be happier.
Tomorrow the forecasts threatens snow, but we don’t care.
Winter is crumbling. Spring is just beginning.