The first wildflower blooming this spring is….

The pasqueflower!  This delicate purple beauty is abundant along the trails near my house, and while on my run tonight, I noticed several in full bloom.  Apparently the snowstorm on Saturday did not deter them in the least.  Good for them.  I was so excited to see them that I yelled to Hubby, “Pasqueflower!”  to which he replied, “What?”  I yelled, “Wildflowers are blooming!” as he puffed his way up the trail and around the bend, not seeming to care in the least about the flowers.  But the site of these few blooms put an extra spring in my step.  The next few weeks will be a wildflower bonanza, with a dozen very showy wildflowers popping up along the trail, making my running experience that much more enjoyable.  Mid-May is the best, when the hillsides turn gold from the thousands of balsamroot plants blooming.  It’s spectacular!

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been on the lookout during my walk to work each morning, keeping a keen eye peeled for the first flower in bloom, wild or cultivated.  So far my walks have been flower-free, unless you count the sidewalk chalk art that is popping up now that the sidewalks aren’t covered in snow and ice.  Yesterday afternoon I noticed a dandelion with 2 flower buds on it in my front yard so I was certain that they would be the first flowers of the spring, but the pasqueflowers stole the show. In a way it was a stroke of luck that I even saw the pasqueflower–the trails have been so muddy lately that Hubby, The Stinker, and I have been running on the lower trails, but tonight we decided to run a higher one. The trails are finally beginning to dry out enough that we can run them without getting ourselves muddy or causing unnecessary erosion. And I welcome the new variety in our running routine.

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These flowers are adorable!  This one almost seems to be waving, “look at me!”  A little botany to nerdify your day: pasqueflowers are in the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae.  Another common name for them is prairie crocus.  The scientific name is Anemone patens.  They are common in open woodlands in the Rocky Mountains, but are also found in the Great Plains and in the mideastern U.S.  It also happens to be the state flower of South Dakota.

This entry was posted in April 2014, Outdoors and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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