Keep Your Eyes Open

Some of the coolest, most beautiful things to be seen in the woods are also the most inconspicuous.  Take bishop’s cap, for example.  You could completely be forgiven for walking past this stalk of tiny, unobtrusive white flowers without giving it a second look.

But bend over and look more closely.  The flowers may be small, but they’re exquisite, like snowflakes.

And hey, is that a flower peeking out from under this whorl of leaves?

It’s a nodding trillium!  I had never seen one until this spring.  I don’t know if we didn’t have them in the part of the state where I grew up, or if I just wasn’t looking.  Either way, imagine me lying on the ground, stretched out on my side, to get a good shot of this downward-facing flower; it’s a good thing no one else came along on the trail just then, but it was worth it!

I love wild ginger, another plant with a spectacular but easy-to-miss flower.  These pairs of heart-shaped leaves are everywhere right now.

You have to check the base of the stem to find the unusual purplish-red flower.  Why such an odd flower in such an odd place?  It’s pollinated and dispersed by ants, that’s why!