Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blue Heaven

Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

Back to the River Trail at Valley Forge National Historical Park last Sunday for a six-mile walk. We hardly saw any wildlife; even the Buffleheads [Bucephala albeola] that reliably overwinter on the Schuylkill River have flown north to begin nesting in the Canadian Arctic.

The River Trail was spectacular, though, because it was bordered by Virginia bluebells nearly its entire length. The floodplain was literally blanketed in blue.

This gnarled Box-elder (Acer negundo) had resprouted after the main leader had died, leaving a scenic wooden arch spanning a lazy spring seep on the floodplain.

Some Jack-in-the-Pulpits (Arisaema triphyllum) were in full bloom...

...while others were just unfurling.

I've still got a Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis) coming to my feeder. And, though they've donned full breeding plumage, I've still got White-throated Sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis) foraging under my feeder; the Juncos (Junco hyemalis) have all departed, but the White-throats tend to hang around a little longer.


The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

No juncos here…but white-throated sparrows seem more plentiful now than they were in January. They're calling all the time (even as I write this with the sun just coming over the low hill east of the cottage) and are still scratching around on the ground below the seed feeders throughout the day. They're one of my two favorite birds.

Scott said...

I agree, Grizz; they do seem to be more abundant now than they were in January. They're gorgeous in their breeding plumage.

Ray's Cowboy said...

I love the jack plant. Love to been there and watch evrything. I use to go to a walking park in Arlington, Texas several years ago. I would take me most of the day to do it, for I would stop an aw everything. I miss living near there.