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Monday, April 5, 2010


"Surprise" beauty imbeds itself onto our brains securely.  A beautiful scene is nice, but fades mored readily if it is expected. Such was my find of bloodroot in the woods a few days ago. While it may be a common plant for many people, for me it was a surprise that has even made its way into my dreams. I dreamed last night that I found the same spot over and over again in places where I had been many times before. 
I did go back Saturday to the patch I wrote about a couple days ago to see how the plants looked when in full bloom.  When I arrived at the spot, I was again surprised to see more plants than I could count.  The sun was almost directly overhead and too bright for good pictures, but I captured a few to share. I especially appreciated the plants growing among squirrel corn.
It's interesting that as the bloodroot fades, the squirrel corn will come into bloom continuing with bright white, probably attracting the same pollinators.  The larger, upturned bloom of the bloodroot may be what initially attracts the insects that keep coming back to find then smaller, squirrel corn flower hidden beneath its delicate leaves. 
My mother told me of when she was young - eighty years ago - driving to Pippen Hills, the small white country church she and her mother attended.  The dirt road roughly followed the creek and in spring one turn brought them upon a large patch of bloodroot.  She could count on them every year to appear in that damp, shady part of the woods. The church was built beside a cool spring that flowed right out of the mountain then ran alongside the church.  My grandfather had built the church (actually had it built) and her mother taught Sunday School there.  It is also where my grandmother's funeral was held before being buried at the family plot at Algoma, back up the road.

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