Green has exploded on the Mill Trail. Bright from rain's kisses and the sun’s embrace, leaves have burst from their buds, scattering husks along the path like forgotten shotgun shells. Ferns have unrolled their fiddleheads into fronds with open arms for blades. The early spring ephemeral flowers have been crowded over in the blitz for space and sunlight. Few trillium flowers cling desperately to their tripod, but they too will fall. Trout lilies have been drowned in shadow by the newly closed canopy. In this new greenwashed world, are there any flowers left?
Yes of course, but you might have to lean a little closer to see them! Early June is for micro-blooms. If you scan the wall of green alongside the trail, you might catch little paint flecks of yellow, blue, and white as if someone was carelessly carrying their paint cans. Some are familiar, some may be weeds, but many are important for sustaining pollinators through the floral lull of the season. It is the micro-bloom's time to seduce the area's bees, butterflies, and other insects who rely on the nectar and pollen from flowers throughout the growing season. Successional blooming is the only way to ensure a reliable food source for these native beneficial flower children.
False Solomon’s Seal is having its day at trail’s edge. These flowers are not yet blooming, but they are eager to stretch out of the confines of their flower buds. The emerging flowers will resemble another micro-blooming ground plant: Canada Mayflower. The single glossy leaves that have been alone just above ground since March are now joined by a short stalk of white foamy flowers and a fellow leaf.
A small batch of Yellow Clintonia (or Bluebead Lily) flowers is just about to drop each delicate petal. Don’t fret; these short-lived flowers give way to striking blue berries that brighten the trailside. They also brighten chipmunk’s or deer’s day-a blue bead is ripe for wildlife snacking! Human fruit gatherers rejoice when they see the creeping vines and distinct white flowers of a Wild Strawberry soaking up the sun in open areas.
Miniature blue flowers are already blooming in lawns and other disturbed areas. Bluets beam through blades of grass, refreshing with their four-petal symmetry. Also a four petaled blue bloom, the Common Speedwell clusters peak through the green curtain as well.
Even buttercups and dandelions can capture the wonder of pollinators, although humans tire of them quickly. Black specks dance around the buttercups in dizzyingly complex steps. A Mustard White Butterfly flutters to and from each fuzzy yellow sunburst. Soon children will be wishing upon the seeds without a thought of the butterflies and bees.
August 29, 2019
Press: Brownsville Preserved - 750-acre Forest Tract Officially Part of Putnam State Forest
August 23, 2019
News: Celebrating the Conservation of Brownsville Forest
August 22, 2019
News: VT's Outdoor Recreation Plan Update - Please Take the Survey!
August 7, 2019
News: 750-Acre Brownsville Tract in Stowe Becomes State Forest