Jeff Green | May 25, 2006
Back toHomeNature Reflections - May 25, 2006
Nature's hidden bounty
by Jean Griffin
Spring - the time when nature seems to be most bountiful, arousing our senses by bringing fresh colours to the landscape, bursts of songs of birds to fields and forests, brief sightings of young animals as they emerge from dens, and new yet-old fragrances of rain-washed fields and forests - a time to be refreshed and renewed.
Every year when spring arrives we experience once again all that we had seen, heard, smelled or touched in other years. Yet each fresh new flower, each colourful returning migrant bird, each young animal, each early butterfly, each form of life that appears is new and an opportunity to learn again the wonders of nature.
Sometimes nature surprises us! We think we know the landscape and what it holds for us to see. But nature has a way of hiding some of its secrets, and unless we look and listen we may not really know what is there.
Early shrubs that appear are the Serviceberries or as some call them the Juneberries or Shadbushes. And for years I have readily recognized two species - the Downy and the Smooth Serviceberry - which are the first two to open. Then this spring I realized I have been overlooking another that opens just a few days later - because it looked similar I had been assuming it was the same. A lesson learned!
How many times have you looked at the White or Red Trilliums, and enjoyed their colours, and after the flower has faded assumed that all the remaining leaves are those of that two. A friend learned last year not to be thus deceived. While doing some work he happened to disturb the leaves and to his surprise, there was a flower hidden under the leaf canopy. What he had found was a Nodding Trillium, a trillium that blooms later than the other two, and whose flower remains hidden under the protection of the leaves. I went to see it this week, and it is a beautiful little flower - white, with pink anthers, with recurved petals. Another lesson!
Many insects are protected from predators by camouflage and it may mean we never see them - unless we stop and look.
Turn over rocks or rotting trees that have been lying on the ground, and there may be a salamander, or a snake there you have not noticed before. (If you do turn over rocks, etc., put them back afterwards so life can continue for what is there).
And so in spring we enjoy all that we have enjoyed the past years, but need to stop, look and listen and recognize what nature has to offer that we may have been missing!