Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Saturday, 29 April 2017

April showers....

....have brought April flowers! (Spoiler alert: don't worry, there will be lots of May flowers in the next few weeks, and will be highlighted in a future post.)

April is a great month for getting out and 'into nature', and if the birds aren't abundant enough, there will be flowers to get distracted by. Inland areas are warmer than places along the lake, so wildflowers there will be up to two weeks different in their flowering condition. Most of the ones here are related to lake side locations, such as Rondeau Provincial Park.

Some of the earliest ones are almost finished, including Bloodroot....


...and Spring Beauty.
Marsh Marigold is well along, and probably past its best.

Hepatica, Purple Cress and Cut-leaved Toothwort have been out for awhile now, but are still plentiful at lake side.
Hepatica

Cut-leaved Toothwort

Purple Cress
Spicebush is just past its peak.


Dutchman's Breeches is just getting underway at Rondeau.....
.....as is Yellow Trout Lily (a.k.a. Dog-tooth Violet).


One of the earliest buttercups has been out for at least a couple of weeks, but is still abundant.
Early Buttercup in the Rondeau picnic area


A bit surprising is the number of wildflower species which normally don't begin to bloom until May, have been in good flower for a few days now. But given the less than severe winter and some early warm-up weather, it may not be all that unusual, and may even indicate a trend. For example both White and Red Trillium have an average first flowering date of May 4. Both of these were noted in flower on April 27, and likely were out at least a day or two earlier than that.

A tiny wildflower that many people have likely never paid attention to before, in spite of having walked right by it countless times, is Mitrewort (Hint: it is scattered along that popular birding trail, the Spicebush Trail). Its average first flowering date is May 8, but several were seen on April 27.

 It is really tiny....those individual flowers are no more than about 2-3 mm in diameter, but are worth a close look to see their intricate pattern.
Goldenseal, a rare Species At Risk, doesn't normally flower until about May 8, but several were seen in flower on April 27.
Yellow Water Crowfoot, another member of the buttercup family, has May 14 as its average normal flowering date. It is abundant in the sloughs, and was noted in full flower on April 25. Undoubtedly the lack of ice in the sloughs this late winter and the faster warming of the water stimulated an earlier flowering time this year.
Long-spurred Violet, easily told by its pale bluish-lilac petals with darker centre and a very long spur, normally doesn't begin to flower until about May 10, but there were lots in flower on April 27.







But not to worry....the late April and early May showers will bring on lots of flowers which will show up in the next few weeks!












2 comments:

  1. Nice selection, and a fabulous macro of the Mitrewort!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Stew....it is hard to believe that so much detail can be packed in to such a small flower isn't it.

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