By the end of April, I’ll have hiked the first 300 miles of the Appalachian Trail. It has been a delight to watch spring begin to unfold on the landscape. Hiking up and down and up again, I’ve had the chance to see all shades of the season, from leafy green valleys to still-wintry 6,000 ft. summits.
If you live farther north or at higher elevation, here’s a preview of some of the beautiful spring ephemerals – those all-too-fleeting wildflowers that bloom before the trees leaf out – I’ve been seeing over the past few weeks.
One of the very first flowers to appear is bloodroot:
Bluets are another very early bloomer. I was seeing these tiny little flowers even in very early April in the Georgia mountains:
There are several different species of violets in shades of yellow and purple:
But it is spring beauty, this lovely little white flower (often with pink rays on the petals), that really signals to me that spring has come:
Not long after the spring beauty, and often intermingled with it, the cheery yellow blooms of trout lily will begin to appear:
Subtly tucked in amongst the showy flowers are the more discreet green blossoms of jack-in-the-pulpit:
Several species of trillium, like the toadshade featured at top or the painted trillium here, also make an appearance:
So if you’ve been hankering for spring, never fear, the ephemerals are here!