Back in Early June: Late spring in our step

In early June the woods were leafy, dark, and green!  Back after a couple of weeks away in May, we walked the trails looking for what’s new.  There was so much growth from the ground cover plants which had emerged just a few weeks prior.  It seemed that these plants had set in for the summer, on cruise control to grow and deepen in color as the temperatures rise.  The trail was dappled with sunlight.

Looking for anything new or unusual, we spotted many chipmunks, nearly half a dozen in just 30 minutes. They squeak and sprint through rustling leaves or along a log, then freeze and disappear from detection until they squeak and sprint again.  Numerous, and apparently new, holes show that subterranean excavations have been underway in the woods.  Could these plump chipmunks be any happier?

A large grey bird of prey lifted itself up from the ground and flew into the canopy.  It may have been waiting for a chipmunk snack.

Scraggly thin vine tendrils reached and stretch into the air and out into the trail, just searching for something to grab onto.

There was a nice display of starry-shaped plants growing on a mossy embankment.  A single sighting of a small, precious plant just a few inches high and two flower buds bowing towards the ground was a reassuring sign that wild flowers are still working their magic in the woods in this age of vines.

On the way home, we spotted a deer munching on the new leaves and saplings, casually turning its neck to observe the visitors.  Slowly it walked on and then sprang into the luscious leaves.

A blue jay bounced between the ground and a low tree branch before flying off into the canopy.

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There was so much growth from the ground cover plants
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The trail was dappled with sunlight.

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Vine tendrils reached out into the trail
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These are hanging on
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A nice display of starry-shaped plants on a mossy embankment
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A reassuring sign that wild flowers are still working their magic in the woods (Chimaphila maculata)

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A blue jay bounced between the ground and a low tree branch before flying off into the canopy.

 

Chimaphila maculata – striped wintergreen. According to Maryland Native Plant Society, striped wintergreen is a low-growing herbaceous plant with creamy-veined (or “striped”) forest-green leaves, frequently with flowers in pairs.

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