Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Afternoon

Snow Trillium
(Trillium nivale)

Georgie and I had a nice Easter weekend with family; the weather was a bit windy but perfect otherwise. Sunday afternoon when we were winding down I decided we should go check on the first wildflowers of spring in the area.

There are two wildflowers in our area I always look forward to. The first one to bloom is the Snow Trillium. Its a beautiful small spring ephemeral found along the timbered edges of Waterman Creek and the Little Sioux River valley here. This is our smallest trillium here and is very indicative of the health of a woodland. You won't find it where grazing is allowed or herbicides are in use...hence it's increasing scarcity. I'm not sure if White-tailed Deer are a factor with trillium populations, however the soil compaction caused in woodlands by allowing livestock grazing is a huge factor for all woodland wildflowers. It's sad because woodlands are not prime grazing ground...when used for such they become trashed habitats, their inherent diversity being seriously damaged or altered.

Pasque Flower
(Pulsatilla patens)

The second wildflower to bloom in our area is the Pasque Flower...it's the first to bloom on the tallgrass prairie. I have seen Pasques and Snow Trillium in close proximaty to one another...where the prairie and woodland meet and mingle at the edge, but this is not so common any more.

I went looking for Pasques a week ago today, getting anxious to see what I consider the beginning of the prairie season, but bombed...none to be found anywhere that I usually could count on them. Not to get too impatient, I decided that it was just too soon. I looked back to my image files from last year and found that it was the 14th of April last year when I photographed them, but bloom time can vary by a week or more from year to year; I figured I'd try again on Easter and there they were! Georgie and I did a little more driving around and found even more locations - it appears to be a good Pasque Flower year!

Now that I've had my bit of assurance that life on the tallgrass and the woodland edges is off to another great start - another season begins and hope rides high! Enjoy!


4 comments:

HARE said...

Very beautiful your photos and wildflowers! I love these.
Snow Trillium are beautiful white in those brown color and the stamens.
Pasque Flower of photo lighting is feel so tenderly.
Makiko

Prairie Painter said...

Thank you Makiko...it is good to get out now that the snow is almost entirely gone, and see the renewal of spring!

Christine said...

I am so happy to have found your site through Makiko's. Beautiful photos and painting!

Prairie Painter said...

Thank you Christine, it is nice of you to visit and thank you very much for the compliment!