Wednesday, May 4, 2011


"Someday soon, she'll take her first step, and you'll probably miss it." Someone at work said that to me after I told them about Violet laughing for the first time. Some might have taken the comment as callous, but it didn't strike me that way. Instead, it made me think of Bloodroot, a spring ephemeral that blooms in the woods behind my house and from Quebec south to Florida and west to Texas and the Dakotas. Spring emphemerals are a group of wildflowers that emerge in early to mid spring. Most are striking in their delicate construction and simple beauty, and, as their name implies, these flowers come and go within a matter of weeks; some individuals bloom only for a few days.You have to know when and where to look because if you miss them, it will be another year before they reappear. Last week, Linda and I took Violet into our woods to gather some leek leaves, and I saw the leaves of Bloodroot unfolding upwards from the dead leaves. The flowers weren't yet open, and having missed last year's Bloodroot, I promised myself that I would get back out in a day or two to see the blossoms. It ended up being six days later, and instead of blossoms, there were two bare flowering stems, now going to seed, and a scattering of white petals at their base. That image was in my head as I drove home tonight, having left the Buffalo Audubon Society's annual dinner a little early, hoping that I could make it home before Linda put Violet to bed.

165 days old

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