Spring green

A floret of green – the soft, delicate leaves of Pacific bleeding heart dotted with raindrops.

It’s that time of year when I go in search of the first buds and shoots that herald the beginning of another spring. Based on a Musqueam story I saw at the Museum of Vancouver, I headed to Musqueam Creek to look for fawn lilies. I found no lilies, but I did see lots of false lily-of-the-valley (tiny green spears poking up through the soil), indian plum, skunk cabbage, and the subject of this photo, bleeding heart. The foliage of bleeding heart must be one of the softest things I’ve ever touched, especially when it’s this fresh.

Bird sightings/soundings included: Anna’s hummingbirds, Swainson’s thrushes, varied thrushes, robins, pileated woodpeckers, flickers, some kind of wren (possibly winter?), bald eagles, black-capped chickadees, a house finch or two, and possibly bushtits. Musqueam Park in the spring is definitely a good place to hear a lot of spring-time bird song!

Signs of spring II

It may not look like much at the moment but in a week or so this will be a beautiful white fawn lily, one of my favourite spring flowers. There was no sign of any shoots when I was in Lighthouse Park a few weeks ago, but I was inspired to go looking for them again after I saw a similar photo from @plantexplorer. I also found a few salmonberry flowers down by the lighthouse, so despite our recent weather, spring is definitely on its way!

I was wondering how soon the fawn lilies would begin to poke up through the pine and fir needles given the very wintry winter we’ve had. Turns out they’re pretty much right on schedule (unlike last year when they were ridiculously early). I imagine I’ll be making a couple more trips to Lighthouse Park to catch their peak bloom, but I also want to check out another area to see if they’re growing there too as I have an indirect suggestion that fawn lilies may grow there too.

As soon as I started taking photos I immediately lamented not bringing my tripod. Bending over in the wet dirt (on a steep slope) trying to get a compact camera to focus on the right part of the green-on-green plant was an exercise in patience and frustration. I took a couple of dozen photos in order to get just 3 or 4 that I consider to have worked! After all, I can even set up the camera and just use my phone to control when to take the picture with no need to kneel in the dirt. Next time…

Raindrop lily

Another Throwback Thursday, another flower ๐Ÿ™‚ Five years ago I was attending a workshop at the Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics where I spotted some white fawn lilies decorated with raindrops. I had no choice but to walk back down the hill to take their picture…

Starflowerpower

A tiny fresh starflower for Wildflower Wednesday These flowers are tiny, barely bigger than your fingernail. If you want to see one closeup, check out a recent lovely photo taken by @tidelinetoalpine

I’ve tried for years to get a good photo of these diminutive flowers, and mostly failed as they are tiny and difficult to get close to. To make things harder, they’re forest flowers and often deep in shady areas, meaning that the exposure times are really too long for handheld shots. I should have used a tripod instead of trying to hold still while crouching down on my knees. However, I can say that I have succeeded in getting one or two photos that I’m quite happy with, and I was especially pleased with this one as it captures a flower just opening out. I’ve never seen one at this early stage before, so it was a double treat ๐Ÿ™‚

Lily the pink

A lone pink fawn lily for today’s Throwback Thursday. At first I thought this was a cultivated varietal, but it turns out to be native to this part of BC; it’s just less common than its white cousin.

I found this pink lily in a flowerbed of mostly periwinkle, and I took its picture purely because it looked so much like the other lilies I know and love – the white fawn and yellow glacier lilies – but I truly thought it was non-native species. Imagine my delight when I found out the truth! It’s very much rarer than the white fawn lily, but I’ve since seen it in a couple of places so I know it’s out there…