Spring Flowers Bursting Out
Wow! If you would like to see the beauty of the spring flowers at Baird Creek, now is the time to get out to the Greenway. Bloodroot, trilliums, anemones, spring beauty, hepatica, marsh marigolds and trout lily are all blooming now. Some of the early bloomers got pushed back by the cooler than normal April, so you can witness both the early blooming species as well as those that arrive more in the middle of the spring blooming season simultaneously.
I have been doing my morning hike on the trail east of Huron Road the past few days. The City recently improved the small parking area which is located on the east side of Huron just south of the railroad track and stream crossing. The trail starts out as asphalt and after about half a mile becomes a dirt trail. It is an easy trail not to get lost on even for the directionally challenged. It is a loop trail, just stick to the outside of the loop, and you will return to where you started. The trail is also well marked by logs along the side of the trail, parallel to the trail.
On the asphalt portion of the trail I have seen my very first ever white trout lilies (Erythronium albidum), the trout lilies in most of the Greenway are yellow (E. americanum).
The white species is generally found further west, for example my home state of Iowa has almost entirely the white species. I have only seen the white species on the asphalt portion of the trail, which is more open, as soon as you move onto the dirt trail, a more shaded area, the trout lilies are yellow. The white flowered species also has less distinct spots on the leaves than the yellow flowered species.
Mayapples, although not yet blooming, are very prominent, they grow in clumps and the leaves look like little umbrellas. In the next couple of weeks they will produce a flower that although pretty, is hidden under the leafy umbrella. Eventually the flower will form a fruit that resembles a small apple, thus the name Mayapple. The fruit contains the toxin podophyllotoxin, and should not be eaten.
The flowers are not the only new show in the Greenway, a large variety of spring migrant birds are arriving, rose breasted grosbeaks, catbirds, and many species of warblers. The spring flower show will not last, once the trees are fully leafed out, most of the species will be done blooming, so now is the time to get out and see them.
See you on the trails!