Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Springtime in Missouri

But is it April now, or May?

You have to admit, it was pretty much a nonwinter, and spring started in February. We’re a month ahead! I started planting lettuce and radishes the second week in February, and those plants that I haven’t picked yet are starting to bolt.

I’ve been busy, yes, yes, and you don’t want to read about that. But part of my busy-ness has been in hiking. Sue and I have made a point of “getting away” on weekends, or whenever we can claim a few hours, to enjoy the spring.

I’ve been photographing wildflowers, which has been fun. I do not consider myself any kind of “photographer” much less an “artist,” but I’m kind of proud of some of my pics. I’ve been visiting woodlands and prairies, witnessing the progression from early spring (February instead of March this year) into mid-spring (March instead of April this year).

So I hope you won’t mind if I share some of these pictures with you. I hope it’s not overkill. My camera does a pretty good job with closeups, and I honestly adore every single one of these plants.

I’m arranging roughly in order of blooming time, with the earliest of bloomers first. Several of these are long gone already, not to be seen again until next year!

Here are some flowers from Missouri woodlands.


Dutchman’s breeches.

Spring beauty.

Dogtooth violet (which is not a violet at all, but a lily).

Rue anemone.

Blue-eyed Mary.


Wake robin; but I prefer the genus name, Trillium.

Here’s a trillium with fascinating genetics: It has parts in fours instead of in threes. Should we call this a quadrillium?

Yellow violet. Crazy-sounding, but true.

Wild sweet William, a.k.a. blue phlox.


Wild ginger (not at all related to true ginger).

Wild geranium (yes, this is actually a type of geranium).

Jack-in-the-pulpit (in the same family as elephant ears).

Here are some flowers from glades.

Bird’s-foot violet, the two-toned form.

Shooting star.

Rose verbena.

And here are some from the prairies.

False garlic.

Yellow star grass.

Wild strawberry.

Hoary puccoon.

Wood betony.

Indian paintbrush.

And here is a bat!

It was on a shady trail one morning at Gans Creek. I’m pretty sure it’s a silver-haired bat, Lasionycteris noctivagans. I don’t know if it was ill, but it promptly flew away when I prodded it with a stick. (Gently. And yes, I’m extremely careful with bats.) Maybe it had just eaten a bug; they are known to eat off of surfaces in addition to catching bugs on the wing.

There’s some extremely bad news about bats, by the way. Please, please read this. Since silver-haired bats apparently don’t roost in caves, but sleep days in shagbark hickory crannies, hollow trees, and old birds’ nests, maybe they won’t be in trouble with that evil White Nose Syndrome.

Its face reminds me of a little dog’s. Incredibly cute. Silver-haired bats are migratory and spend nights fluttering up and down creek bottoms, hunting the zillions of pesky insects that fly in those areas.

Wouldn’t it be neat if everyone started hounding their governmental representatives about needing to find a cure for White Nose Syndrome? If not out of affection and respect for the bats, then out of hatred of mosquitoes—?

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