Showing posts from April, 2015

Revisiting Kentucky 3 years later in the spring...part 3

A rather portentous visit to one of America's great National Parks--Mammoth Caves. Biggest cave system in the world (300 miles and counting). I was disappointed to find the verges of the path crowded with garlic mustard: with the thousands of daily visitors, surely they could hire a few weeders? The last blog was written at the end of April, but the season was so advanced then that this time we encountered a whole different palette of plants. Part three, you say? The other parts may or may not be was a fabulous trip that could produce another six blog entries, but the season marches on!

This trim saxifrage was on every shady slope. Hundreds of them around the cave--maybe thousands. We found these in several nearby spots--on moist, shady cliffs and slopes.

These looked as though they'd just come up!

Blue phlox is so variable!
Bradford pear has escaped into the wild--here are two husky specimens in an abandoned field alongside our guide--the amazing field botan…

First flush of flowers...

Spring is a long-drawn out affair in the Steppe. Or rather, we don't really ever get a "real" spring (except for 2008-2012 when we had four blissful years of English-like springs when the forsythias bloomed for months and apricots and almonds fruited almost every year--but they were the exception) Most years winter and summer simply alternate from Christmas to Memorial Day and beyond). The Adonis was in full bloom (and had been blooming for weeks) when I returned from Africa at the end of January! It can tolerate subzero cold in flower!

The Christmas rose also had flowers in January--and does most years. It's already threatening to drop seed in early April!
 This too has fat seed-pods this time of year. My favorite snowdrop towers over the nearby nivalis.                                    

I recall seeing masses of this on the pass near St. Moritz in the Engadine in late June in white and my little tuft is pretty modest by comparison--but evocative non…