Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Mayflower in April

One of the best times for a walk in the woods is just after (or during) an April shower. We are at the tail end of four days of rain - steady but not hard rain. The sun, yet to emerge, is still working its way through the clouds. Meanwhile, as the rain subsides raindrops linger at the tips of buds, the underside of twigs, and on newly emerged leaves.

April showers are truly meant for May flowers, especially the Canada mayflower. This diminutive woodland wildflower carpets the forest floor. Its green leaves shine in the understory, freshly rinsed by the recent rain.

The Canada mayflower, Maianthemum canadense, also known as wild lily-of-the-valley, will sprout starry-white flower clusters in May. But I think April is its month and the leaves steal the show.

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