Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Take-A-Look Tuesday: Spring Wildflower (& Fungi) Report

I haven't done a "Take-A-Look Tuesday" post in a long time, not since 2014, when I did a couple such posts. Nor have I posted any "Spring Wildflower Reports" lately. I managed two in 2015. I hope this post will get me back on track. I always have more ideas and material than time...

I've been hiking the trails of Jay Cooke State Park all spring, watching as the wildflowers sprout, grow, and then bloom. The last couple weekends have been gorgeous, in terms of what's visible. Let's get right to the photos!
Scarlet cup fungus, JCSP
One of the first things I look for is the Scarlet Cup Fungus. Obviously, this is not a wildflower, but it signals the very beginning of Spring for me. It starts growing under the snow, I think. I usually start seeing them in mid-March, but the first ones I saw this year appeared in early April. They're such a welcome burst of bright color in the bleak, dreary early-spring woods. 
A rare double? I haven't seen too many that are fused together like this one.
Along with the Scarlet Cups, I also usually find a fair number of Black Cup fungus, known as Devil's Urn, in the spring. Devil's urn is one of my favorite fungi. I usually find some pretty large ones at Jay Cooke.
Devil's Urn at the base of an old cedar,
Beltrami County.

More Devil's Urn on the floor of a Beltrami County bog.

Large Devil's Urn specimens at Jay Cooke.
Bloodroot sprout.
One of the earliest wildflowers to bloom is Bloodroot. I caught it this year just as it was sprouting up out of the ground. The sprouts look a bit like caterpillars to me. 
Bloodroot colony

The flowers are quite large, a cheerful sight in the spring. The flowers only last a few days, so I always feel lucky when I see them. 

The leaves of the Bloodroot are almost as pretty as the flowers, deeply veined with many lobes.

Close-up of Bloodroot blossom.
Bloodroot colony, with flowers opening up
Macro shot of a Bloodroot bud emerging
from its leafy cocoon.


Another very early flower that I try really hard to catch is Dutchman's Breeches, so named because the flowers look like pants hung on a clothesline. The leaves are quite distinctive, feathery in appearance, with a slightly bluish cast.
One of my best shots of Dutchman's Breeches this year.
Trout Lily with bud
Such lovely leaves
The Trout Lilies are also a great favorite. They get their name from the mottled pattern on their leaves, reminiscent of trout-skin. Jay Cooke is filled with these flowers. 
Trout Lilies amidst a sea of Spring Beauties at Jay Cooke.

Lots of yellow Trouts
Perfect pair

Yellow Trout Lily with bee

The Trout Lilies also come in white, but for some reason, I find the white ones harder to photograph. I haven't yet taken a really good photo of the white ones this year...

The Trout Lilies grow in the same area as the Spring Beauties, a small pink and white striped flower, also found in vast numbers at Jay Cooke. 

Spring Beauties: very small
It wouldn't be a Spring Wildflower Report without a shot or two of Wild Ginger and Trillium, so here are some photos of those old favorites.
Most of the Trilliums I've seen so far haven't opened fully yet.
Wild Ginger's amazing flower rests on the ground.
Jack-in-the-Pulpit, just starting to bloom, Munger Trail.

An older Jack

I was afraid I might miss Jack-in-the-Pulpit this year, but they're just coming up now in our area. They are so much fun to see. 
Looking for Jack inside the Pulpit
If you have time to get out to Jay Cooke in the near future, you should check out all the flowers along Summer Trail. It's a great place to see many of these flowers. During my last two trips there, I've run into other wildflower photographers, some of whom come from the Twin Cities area to see the beautiful array of wildflowers Jay Cooke has to offer.


  1. My oh my! These are simply gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing, Susan!