Dr. Culwell’s Walk in the Woods

Saturday, March 10, twelve folks (half were kids) met in the outdoor classroom/pavilion getting ready for a walk in the woods, the winter woods. Coffee and peach cobbler got the gang in the mood for the woods. But, already on the cool day as the group hit the trail, there were a few flowers poking their heads up; the white trout lily (Erythronium albidum) was in full bloom on the north slope where it decorated the brown, leaf litter; the two leaves of each plant have their top sides colored green with white spots giving it the name trout lily. Rising up from the pair of leaves was the nodding, white flower nearly two inches long of three petals and three sepals tinged with maroon (or tepals as we call them, since the petals and sepals look much the same).

No doubt, the trout lily stole the day, even as lichens (crustose, leafy, and branched ones) stood out in white or pale greenish-blue on the tree trunks and rocks. A few animals let us know we were in their habitat; armadillo dens and uprooted soil told us we were in their home space, black vultures flew high overhead searching for a meal, and spring warblers as well as the resident, feathered folks sang out loudly announcing their presence.