The first wildflower near our house today (looks like a Canada Violet?)

The first wildflower near our house today (looks like a Canada Violet?)

So you know how intently I’ve been searching for the first wildflower, right?  And how we spotted that dandelion up in the Copper Country last weekend…but couldn’t decide if a dandelion is a “real” wildflower.  (I am of the opinion that it is.)

Well today there’s no more need to keep the eyes peeled 24/7 looking for wildflowers.  They’ve sprouted!  They’re blooming! 

The first one announced itself early this morning in our yard.  I’ve tentatively identified it (above) as a Canada Violet.  All flower identifications in this blog come from the handy field manual “Michigan Wildflowers:  Includes Upper and Lower Peninsulas and the Off-Shore Islands” by Harry C. Lund.  Any mistakes in identification are all mine.  I’ve stared at the photos in the book, eyes scrunched up, comparing, comparing.  But some of them are really hard to give the 100% stamp of identification. 

Thinking this one is Bloodroot

Thinking this one is Bloodroot

Today I had the most lovely adventure, of which you’ll hear more tomorrow.  But tonight it seemed important to dedicate an entire blog to the elusive wildflowers which we’ve so longed to see spreading their delicate beauty on the forest floor.

Broad Leaf Spring Beauty

Broad Leaf Spring Beauty

There seems to be more wildflowers near the river.  Except for the violet yawning in the morning sun near our house, all the rest of these photos were snapped in an area near the Huron River.  The trees were old-growth big trunks, and there seemed much more space in between them to let the wildflowers reach their blossoms toward the sun.  At least that’s my theory right now.

Pretty sure this one is Dutchman's Breeches.

Pretty sure this one is Dutchman's Breeches.

OK, you’re wondering about that snapping turtle, right?  You’re wondering if a snapping turtle is a kind of flower…no, just kidding.  Here’s what happened.  About two days ago I thought, “It’s really time to see a turtle.”  And kept the old eyes peeled for one in the marshes and swamplands.  To no avail.

Until today, heading over a small hillock, I almost crashed into the most magnificent fella.  He eyed me with his majestic eyes, his head barely sticking out.  Then I sat very still a long time next to him, admiring this calm feeling of wisdom which seemed to be exuding from him.  It’s hard to describe.  It was an honor just to spend time sitting near him.  Asked his permission to take his photo, but don’t remember his reply.  It must have been yes.

Snapping Turtle

Snapping Turtle

I never once thought it was an actual snapping turtle.  Wasn’t even thinking along the lines of identification.  Until Barry saw the photo later and announced, “It’s a snapper!”  Although he recommended googling for better identification.  Upon googling, sure enough, it looked like a snapper.  Although I am not sure of any identification in this blog.   Maybe should have left it with “A bouquet of wildflowers and some sort of turtle.”

Oh, and another view of the turtle, in case you’re interested.  I’m kind of glad I decided not to touch his shell.  Although maybe we had bonded enough so he wouldn’t have snapped off my finger?

Looking straight down on turtle.  Look at that webbed foot!

Looking straight down on turtle. Look at that webbed foot!

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