Two days ago Ruta and I were out traipsing around Oak Openings - scouting out a new vernal pool to be monitored this season. The ice had melted and we saw a very few Birdsfoot Violet leaves poking up, but I was eager for more signs of spring. So we headed to a nearby stream where I knew Skunk Cabbage would be blooming.
Skunk Cabbage is in the same family with Jack-in-the-Pulpit and Calla Lilies. The flowers in this family are hooded and sprout before the leaves.
The hood may be beautiful, but the flowers aren't very impressive. They have no petals and are compressed together in a yellow ball. There are slim pickings for insects looking for pollen at this time of year, however.
As we continued on the trail toward a wetland we heard the most wondrous sound - Chorus Frogs. These guys are only about an inch long, but collectively they fill the air with sound - and my heart with joy.