Well now, I had a wonderful, easy-to-grow, native wildflower groundcover all lined up for this weekâ€™s Flora when an awful, innocent-looking plant alien pushed it aside.
It was the first weekend in April last year that I thought Iâ€™d died and gone to heaven when chancing upon carpets of the tiny little red-eyed, purple-petaled bluets carpeting the sacred ground of the Sparrow Cemetery out on Mt. Carmel Church Road.
More than four weeks ago Dave Otto spotted a trout lily in flower on Bolin Creek.
This is the time in our changing seasons when we might become alarmed that some of our red cedar trees are diseased or otherwise sickly.
Three weeks ago local woods walker and photographer Dave Otto shared his image of trout lily, Erythronium umbilicatum, flowering down along Bolin Creek.
Last week down in Saxapahaw during the 30th anniversary celebration of the Haw River Assembly, local musician and songwriter Tim Stambaugh excitedly said to me, â€œItâ€™s watercress time again.â€
National Invasive Species Awareness Week is Feb. 26-March 3!
â€œFields of dandelion are like huge cloud rafts floating on a sea of green. Lying back on this flowery bed can become intoxicating, the mind swooning with the fragrance…”
Floraâ€™s focus this week is wooly mullein, Verbascum thapsus, also called velvet-leaf, flannel-leaf, Jacobâ€™s staff and Quaker rouge.
The most obvious evergreen features of the winter forest floor are numerous extensive carpets of Christmas ferns.
Last week woods-walking companion Tony Blanford took the lead to introduce Brian Stokes and me to his favorite â€œsecret forestâ€ of legendary oaks and beeches.
I am still relishing attending the Sixth Annual Ocracoke Working Watermenâ€™s Association oyster roast, shrimp boil and fish stew fundraiser on the eve of New Yearâ€™s Eve.
I hope some of you joined in on the Eno River Association New Yearâ€™s Day Hike. That annual tradition began more than 40 years ago.
As we reflect on the joys of the season, take time out to ponder the specialness of that tree you brought indoors to accompany your family traditions.
For years I have made pilgrimages to my secret forest of American holly, Ilex opaca, on the edge of Jordan Lake.