Posted by: tysonrc | March 15, 2010

A Reason to Celebrate

Gather ’round everyone, I have a story to share…

It was a gloomy, 44 degree afternoon on March 15, 2010.  I had gone out in search of the first native blooming wildflower.  I had looked all around the road edges and not found anything.  I ended my search on the knob at the top of a ridge where Claytonia virginica , Spring beauty, traditionally blooms fairly early.  Hopping out of the truck, I could immediately tell that the leaves of spring beauty in this area did not seem to grow at all during the grey and dreary weekend.  I had hoped to find a patch of fragile, beautiful, white petals and tiny clumps of pink pollen (that’s right, it has pink pollen!)

Alas, after searching and noticing no change in the population or any flowers, I gave up the search for yet another day.  Heading back to the truck, I noticed my assistant, Phillip Jay Fry, was staring oddly at something on the ground not more than one foot from where I exited the truck.  His education runs more towards olfaction than botany, so I pushed him aside.  Hooray, Mr. Fry had indeed found one lonely blooming spring beauty, and we both managed not to step on it even!

The first one of Spring!

I am not entirely sure what made this one plant decide to bloom when all the rest could not muster it.  Maybe it is genetics, wind, something to do with light coming off the limestone road?  I’m guessing the little stick that it was growing next to absorbed and emitted just enough heat to help this little fella out.  Let’s take a closer look at him…

good lookin'!

Confident that I had found the first flower, I drove back to the headquarters building thinking that it was a good reason to celebrate!

oh yeah, on the drive back I saw these…

an older flower showing the pink pollen


a spring beauty that is done flowering and is working on a seed!


How in the world did I miss these last week?

–Travis Mohrman



  1. That Mr. Fry is a fine fieldmate. Trust his instincts.

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