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Forest Floor Notecard




Forest Floor

The forest floor in spring is alive with surprises, so watch where you step: that’s white trillium at your feet, fair as any lily. And look around: tinier, more delicate, and no less beautiful wildflowers like spring-beauty and hepatica bloom in the duff. Look closer and you notice that those tall, tripartite leaves among the trillium belong to Jack, jack-in-the-pulpit. The floral leaf or spathe folds over the upright spadix, the preacher in his covered pulpit, to create an altogether charming effect. The dead leaves of last autumn rustle unexpectedly; perfectly camouflaged, a tiny thrush-like warbler hops through, the ovenbird; so called because of the domed nest she builds on the ground. “Tea-cher, teacher,” she says. There’s more here than first meets the eye.

artwork by Bernard C. Scott © 1994

text by Peter Fortunato