Wonder-filled wishes…

On this suddenly-wintery, ice-stormy day, I found myself browsing through images of warmer fall days. This Hydrangea portrait struck me as appropriate to share with you as I send belated, but warm Christmas greetings (the bloom looks tree-like to me!) and wishes for a wonder-ful New Year.

…..Christmas tree – ish….

Fall blooming Hydrangea at Chicago Botanic Garden. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Unclear diversity…

First glance of this white patch of springtime, from my bicycle, looks like a uniform cluster of Wood Anemone (Anemone quinquefolia), named by the famed Carl Linnaeus in 1753. Natural diversity is one of the amazing characteristics of a wild, mostly-undisturbed area. Chicago’s Cook Country Forest Preserve is as close as I can get in this urban area to native wildlife.

As I get closer to the Anemone, I realize that other spring blooms are present in this “mostly” Anemone patch of forest floor. Note the Trout Lily leaves in the right and lower portions of the overall image. The fence in the background separates a public golf course from the bike trail. The shrub is probably the invasive Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and its presence reinforces that this is an urban, partly disturbed forest.

This small patch of woodland floor hosts a multitude of plant species; some will become visible in several months. This time my eyes stay focused on the natives.

Forest floor of Anemone and Trout Lily, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Forest floor of Anemone and Trout Lily, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Wood Anemone with a few other natives. copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Wood Anemone with a few other natives. copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Close up of Anemone with Trout Lily peaking into frame. copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

Close up of Anemone with Trout Lily peaking into frame. copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

Portrait of tiny Wood Anemone, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Portrait of tiny Wood Anemone, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Shy beauty…

Mayapple @2013 Pamela Breitberg

Mayapple @2013 Pamela Breitberg

Mayapple flower 2013 copyright Pamela Breitberg

Mayapple flower 2013 copyright Pamela Breitberg

Mayapples’ blooms hide under umbrella-like leaves on the forest floor. This seemingly shsy flower appropriately named blooms in May and its fruit resembles a miniature unripe apple. For those who don’t mind kneeling on the cool, water soaked, spring land, you can see their beauty.

Mayapple 2 copyright2013 Pamela Breitberg

Mayapple 2 copyright2013 Pamela Breitberg

For more information on Mayapples see “May in April”, posted April 17, 2012.