Dancing Flowers


W2020April02

As the pandemic spreads and intensifies, we are now all encouraged to stay at home, and I am taking this time to really observe the subtle nuances of each day in my woods. With recent record warmth, along with frequent rain showers, spring has been arriving especially quickly this year. New flowers are literally popping up overnight. For the next few weeks I will share my spring, some beauty we can all enjoy, until the leaves come out and shade ends this season’s flower show.

Some plant names are definitely more poetic than others. One of my favorites is windflower, the tiny white flowers now dotting the forest floor. As might be expected from this name, they are not always the best subjects for flower photography. Each blossom is like a tiny wind gauge. It is almost like trying to photograph an elusive animal as the stems weave back and forth with each imperceptible breeze.

Also known as rue anemone, they are one of the most common wildflowers in my yard. Here they tend to start with pinkish buds that unfurl over several days to white flowers. In places they form patchwork carpets, almost like remnants of melting snow. Soon they will be gone, not even a hint of flowers or leaves. Their seeds will be carried away by ants, dispersing them to far corners of my woods.

Sometimes when I walk outside from the endless onslaught of bad news it seems almost jarring to watch spring’s arrival. The natural world is indifferent to me, to the crush of sadness from the pandemic. In spite of whatever is going on with people, nature is renewing itself again as always, and spending time every day in this surge of spring is immensely reassuring. I hope wherever you are there is a slice of the season you can enjoy and in case you can’t, I will be posting pictures as spring returns here in the mountains of Tennessee. Every day there is proof life goes on, a promise that I need this year more than ever before.