Nature lovers began the frenzy of watching for the first flowers of spring a few weeks ago. Here at Wild Ozark, we’re in a little eco-microcosm that is often more than a week behind surrounding areas in spring. Our temperatures stay cooler more often and our snow is often deeper. I watched with no small amount of envy as one after another of my peers posted victory photos to the various online medias, mainly to the Arkansas Native Plant group on Facebook.
Usually, Harbinger of Spring or Dutchmen’s Breeches are the first flowers I notice out here. This year they have not bloomed yet, or else I missed them if they did. I went out looking for Harbingers a couple of weeks ago and came back with only dried relics from last year.
Spring peepers have been regaling the nights and days with songs of merriment and woo. It was so loud last night I could hear them over the sound of rushing water, runoff from the day’s rains.
For all intents and purposes, it does seem that spring is here.
The very first flowers I saw bloom here at Wild Ozark was cress, on the last day of February. I think it is hairy cress, sometimes also called winter cress or chicken cress. It’s a delicious edible during early spring, but it’s a small plant and so gathering is a little tedious.
The next flower to appear was spring beauty, Claytonia virginica. This is always one of the first flowers.
And that’s about it so far right here at Wild Ozark. I think I saw a violet blooming but I didn’t stop right away and couldn’t find it when I went back down the driveway later.