Thursday, April 23, 2009

Signs of Spring in the Alleghenys

Here are a few of the things that I look for to assure me that spring has indeed returned to the Alleghenys.
The Serviceberry tree also known as the Juneberry or Shadbush is a small open-branched tree that blooms a small white flower before the leaves appear. In mid-April my eyes search the mountains looking for the wispy white flowers that stand out among the drab bare trees.

Coltsfoot often mistaken for dandelion is one of the first flowers of the spring. Introduced by settlers long ago , its a native of Europe and Asia. Used medicinally as a cough suppressant and for lung ailments. The leaves which appear after the flower resemble the foot of a colt hence the name.

Skunk cabbage named after the pungent odor in emits when a leaf is damaged. It is a plant of the swamps. I find this plant in the lowest lying spots in my Shawnee covert.

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