Saturday, May 15, 2010

as good as spring itself

The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.
--Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) American author

Mayapples are a common wild flower which appear this time each spring, spreading their wide, rubbery-leafed canopies over the moist woodland floor. They grow about 18 inches high - and its easy to miss their small blossoms under the umbrella-like leaves. Only the plants with a forked stem will flower, those with a single stem will not. Asa Gray, considered the most important American botanist of the 19th century, described the flavor of the yellow fruit that appears as the plant dies back as "somewhat mawkish, beloved of pigs, raccoons and small boys." A good bit of information to know...immature fruits, seeds and all other plant parts are poisonous - which is why the plant was once known as 'witches umbrella.'

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