Spring Gems in the Woods

Eastern redbud tree blossoms

Today was another chilly, windy day.  We walked through the woods and found the usual unbroken brown landscape.  But when we got back to camp, the sun was low in the sky and illuminated something I had missed before.  Behind the skeleton of a shrub still clinging to some of its brown leaves was this glorious young redbud tree!  I was stunned that I had missed it earlier!

Arrow leaf ginger flowers

Thrilled with that discovery, I turned to leave when I noticed green arrow leaf ginger leaves among the leaf litter below.  Curious, I followed the long stems with my fingers where they disappeared beneath the leaves, and dug around in the leaves.  And for the first time ever I saw their purple, urn-shaped blooms!

The blooms hide beneath the leaf litter from critters who would eat them, and are pollinated by ants and other ground-dwelling bugs.

This is what the ginger looks like on the forest floor -- giving no hint of the blossoms hidden beneath the leaf litter.

Here's a closeup of leaf and flower detail

I took photos of several other tiny flowers, but they didn’t turn out.  But one of the photos displayed unexpected magic when I downloaded it to my computer.

The sun shining through the leaves made them look like they contained fluorescent fire! You may have to click on the photo to enlarge it to see the fire.

The brown leaves on the ground glowed fluorescent scarlet from the sun shining through their backs!  It was a day for magic!

Oh… I almost forgot!  After I found the ginger, I found a trillium with a large bud almost ready to bloom!  If I had found it first instead of the ginger I would probably have written half a page about how gorgeous it was!  🙂

Beautiful trillium almost ready to bloom

The storm the other day left the lake water muddy and thick with leaf debris, so we didn’t attempt to go fishing today.   Maybe tomorrow.

This evening we had another wonderful campfire.   And I grilled chicken wings, sprinkled with mesquite seasoning.  They were the best wings we had ever had — crispy and spicy on the outside, and melt-in-your-mouth on the inside.

I’m including a few “brown” photos, taken before I discovered the flowers, just so you can get an idea of what we saw on our woods walk today.

It’s supposed to be in the low 30’s tonight, then warm up nicely tomorrow with wind 10-15 knots.  I am looking forward to warm weather and sunshine.  I hope the forecast is right!

Magnificent tree roots

A little stream that looks more like a ditch!

One of many fallen trees.

Another fallen tree.

I just thought this log looked cool!

Sweetgum balls

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