Hellebore-Anything but bore...ing
Lady in Waiting

Swamp things!

High 69 F
Low 32.6F

The swamp is a varied and interesting ecosystem. I try to take a walk down to the swamp at least a couple of times a week.  Everything changes so quickly!  The canopy is bare but for the flowers of the Common spicebush, Lindera benzoin, which are a beautiful acid yellow. Dsc_0006 They light up the swamp with a firefly like glow.  Dsc_0002 The spicebush is a common marsh dweller and when the stem is crushed a spicy odor is emitted, hence the name.  The floor of this outdoor room is littered with another odoriferous occupant, the skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus.  No doubt about it, it does smell like a skunk but the color of the familiar spathe which covers the spadix is lime green with mottled burgundy.  Dsc_0005 No interior designer can do better!  The lush emerald green leaf is cool and inviting  at least until you get a whiff!   One of the most interesting emerging plants is the ostrich fern, Matteuchia struthiopteris, which emerges from the ground with Dsc_0008a cottony covering over an embryonic looking frond.
There is always time for a walk in the woods especially when the back gives out from raking, compost hauling and dividing.  Even the foetid smell of the skunk  cabbage rejuvenates the spirit as the cycle of swamp life continues! I don't have a picture of the moss which I so love but here is one of some lichens on the rocks.  They are beautiful aren't they?Dsc_0007