In the Low Ground

Golden ragwort's cheerful flowers

The forest is full of spring wildflowers but the meadow gets a later start.

Sword-like shoots and the first sun-ray blooms stand hands-widths above the low ground.

The low ground is the meadow in front of our house, mowed only once a year - in winter. Thus maintained it remains a vast open garden of herbaceous plants.

The wildflowers of the forest rush to utilize the bountiful light of early spring, before canopy leaf-out. The meadow, where the shrubs and trees are trimmed to their crowns every fall, doesn't hurry to complete its entire life cycle in March, April or May.

The meadow will be at its most luxuriant in August and September, but the first shoots, fronds, fiddleheads, stems and tiny blooms of the spring meadow make me cherish the low ground.

Basal leaves of golden ragwort (Senecio aureus)

Basal leaves of Dichanthelium clandestinum - Deertongue grass

Spring cress - Cardamine bulbosa

Sensitive fern - sensitive to late spring frosts, that is - otherwise very adaptable


I fenced this Highbush blueberry which I found growing in the meadow - so it wouldn't get mowed, or browsed by deer

Carex gynandra/crinita - deer seem to enjoy trimming the tender tops of this wetlands sedge

Three trees at meadow's edge:

Black birch in flower

Flowering Dogwood

Amelanchier arborea (serviceberry)