Weirdly, I’m feeling homesick for the White Mountains. It’s not an autumn thing- we always used to go in late spring, around Dad’s (and, incidentally, Patrick Henry’s) birthday. We haven’t been in years.
In fact, I think the last time we went was in the winter. We’ve been a few times in the winter too. It’s better for skiing and snowshoeing- I used to be a pretty good skier. And the first year we went I think it was around Autumn times. In any event, it was cold enough that I was able to feel my metabolic processes shut down when I jumped into Lonesome Lake like an idiot. I also lived on Hershey bars that trip.
But spring is obviously the best for botanizing. So it’s kind of weird, but I’m feeling homesick for these plants that I used to see when we hiked in the presidential range.
I’m missing trillium maybe the most and I don’t think I’ve ever seen them anywhere else. They come in different combinations of whites, pinks, mauves, and maroons. Others are one color.
- Trout Lily
So called because of the funny mottling effect on their leaves. The spotting always reminds me of liver spots- those are a thing, right? Also salmon. Sometimes I misspeak and call them salmon lily.
Hobblebush is an excellent pant and one of the first more obscure ones that I learned to identify (other than jewel weed, I think I was born with that stuff). The branches on this shrub-like plant are really spreading and kind of scraggly. Like maybe you’ll trip on it and hobble? I hate mnemonic devices, but this one is stuck in my brain.
- Gold Thread
So called because the roots are thin and yellow-gold in color. These are cute little guys with a hidden secret underground. Kind of like dwarves or leprechauns. But more friendly and less greedy.
- Lady Slipper
Rarer to spot, but much more beautiful in native surroundings than in the garden- especially because garden variety lady slippers are a bit different. And they’re such odd plants that you get a whole bunch together and it looks- well, odd, I think. But getting to see one just hanging out in the woods is lovely. Like finding a fairy.