Sunday, March 27, 2016

Tricks of Time

"We have to get a picture of the dog in the middle of all these flowers!" Heidi exclaimed as we stepped off the boardwalk and into the early spring woods on the Bull Run Trail.

"We have one," I shrugged, "from the last time we were here."

"Na ah!" she replied. "When was that anyway?"

Through the miracle of modern technology, I was able to show her by searching through the photos on my phone. The last time we had been on this trail at Virginia Bluebell time was April 1, 2012.

Oh, we still took plenty of pictures of the dog sitting pretty in a lovely spray of lavender and spring green, and when we got home I checked my blog post for that date as well. It was ironically rather timeless:

"Why do we go to a nature center to learn about energy?" the ranger asked the congregation of sixth grade students. And the answer was that energy is everywhere, and nature both uses it and conserves it well. Case in point? Our guide showed us an example of the Virginia Bluebell. This plant is visible for no more than 4-6 weeks in the early spring. It grows and blooms in the sunshine that is only available because the trees have not yet leafed out, then dies back to its roots to wait for the earth to complete another trip around the sun. It is a spring ephemeral.

Years ago I drove from Houston to Austin at this time of year. Courtesy of the Texas Highway Department and Lady Bird Johnson, the hills were literally covered in Blue Bonnets, the showy lupine native to that part of the country. Fiery orange blooms of Indian Paintbrush were scattered across the blanket of blue blossoms, and it was hard to breathe, much less drive, in the presence of such an exhibition. I have never forgotten it.

Today I witnessed the local equivalent of that grand display. As we walked the trail along Bull Run,Virginia Bluebells carpeted the forest floor, rolling blue and spring green as far as I could see, their dainty lavender bells bowed away from the very sun they sought. I have to admit that I appreciated the beauty of their presence much more knowing as I did that theirs was a limited engagement.

But then, whose isn't?

1 comment:

  1. Your words painted such a beautiful picture for me to imagine! Isn't Spring a wonderful time of year?