The first blossoms of spring in the forest understory around here are the trout lilies. This seems to be a good year for them. They must like cool and moist. One particular woodland site is a carpet small, yellow, nodding flowers and waxy, green/tan patchwork leaves. The trout lilies are ephemeral and soon will not be apparent in the forest floor plant community.
Another flower blooming now offers the promise of a future treat: Amelanchier, which has a list of aliases worthy of a pulp fiction crook (a/k/a shadbush, a/k/a juneberry, a/k/a serviceberry, a/k/a sugarplum). But this native shrub is no crook. It graces the woodland margins and shrub areas with a splash of white flowers that later will be a tasty fruit.
Yesterday, as I was traveling through the NW lower Michigan orchard country, I saw another profusion of white blossoms, this time in the apple and cherry orchards. It’s alovely sight offering the promise of delicious fruits later this summer and fall. But I couldn’t help but think that the farmers probably view the sight of all those blossoms with a combination of delight and concern. To paraphrase Knute Rockney’s quote about the forward pass (‘only three things can happen and two of them are bad’), I would think the orchard growers are probably apprehensive since so many things can happen to the flowers and fruit and only of few of those things are good. So here’s to a good fruit season to the fruits of summer, wild and domestic.