March 3, 2013

Harbingers of Spring

First skunk cabbages reported blooming on March 1
The warm waters and protected hollow of Brister's Spring, in Concord's Town Forest, give way each year to some of the first blooming skunk cabbage in Concord.  An abundance of flowers emerge from the gently flowing waters and soft, deep mud.  Walden Woods' Matt Burne reported these primal blossoms on March 1st and I followed with this portrait session on March 3rd, risking a fall into a very wet and gooey spring bed.  Ray Angelo, an authority on Concord's floral history, reports that Thoreau's average date of bloom for skunk cabbage was March 31, based on six annual observations noted in his journals 150+ years ago.

Pollen showing inside this open blossom
Skunk cabbage are a colorful and shapely breed
These beauties were in full glory throughout a significant weekend snowstorm, affirming that spring's progress was not deterred by March's occasional wintery interludes.

Brister's Spring trail
Fairyland Pond trail
Birch branches against pond ice

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