Message from the President – April 2022

Hello Coastal Master Naturalists!

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the beautiful spring weather we’ve been having. I know there have been some stormy days recently, too, but that goes with the season. I have really been appreciating the changes that spring brings to my local environment. Not only am I starting to get some of our breeding birds showing up (anyone else hearing Northern Parulas singing their zeeeeeee-tsup! from the tops of the trees?), but the spring flowers are blooming. Many of my neighbors in our subdivision plant nice, HOA-approved exotic bulbs like tulips and daffodils to get their first flowers of the year. Those are pretty, but I prefer our natives.

Bloodroot flower and leaf

I am lucky enough to have all sorts of different flowers (my neighbors generally say weeds) popping up in my lawn and around my property. Before becoming a Master Naturalist, I rarely even noticed these, but now I really appreciate their subtle beauty.
I have a lot of Bloodroot (Languinaria canadensis) that make a short-lived, sparse, white and green carpet. I can never seem to get a good photo of that, but their individual blooms are quite pretty. Those blooms disappear quickly, but leave the tapered seed head on the same stalk, which is nestled into the oddly shaped leaf.

Mottled Trillium (left) and May-apples

I currently have a lot of Mottled Trillium (Trillium maculatum) blooming, some in clumps, with their single understated but elegant flower, and the May-apples (Podophyllum peltatum), although not yet in bloom, are forming a carpet covering a sloping bank behind my house. Their single blooms are usually well hidden, so I look forward to finding some in bloom.
Finally, I see a few Atamasco lilies (Zephyranthes atamasco) already, so those should be up strongly soon. I guess they are also called Easter Lilies for a reason.

I hope you take the time to look around your local environment. The natives that live right next to your property might surprise and delight you!

I look forward to seeing you in the field or online at a Think and Drink!

Dave Eslinger