Shabbona County Park in Spring

Shabbona County Park is a [publicly accessible] postage stamp spring woodland in a sea of corn and soy.


shabbona county park spring woodland ephemeral wildflowers
Tiptoeing through the robust carpet of spring ephemerals. Cutleaf toothworts, woodland phlox, rue anemone, wild leeks, spring beauties, Dutchman’s breeches, trout lilies, mayapples, trilliums.

shabbona county park spring woodland Dutchman's breeches Dicentra cucullaria
Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) flowers with a pinkish tinge my camera failed to capture well. An ant says gimme dat nectar.

shabbona county park spring woodland Dutchman's breeches Dicentra cucullaria foliage
The soft, lovely foliage of those britches.

shabbona county park spring woodland
Bubblegum pink bulblets of Dutchman’s breeches. Squirrel corn’s (Dicentra canadensis) are orange. I replanted this fellow, but this place is carpeted with these guys.

shabbona county park spring woodland
A colony of white trout lily (Erythronium albidum. Can you make out their white, nodding flowers?

shabbona county park spring woodland garlic mustard seedlings
There is garlic mustard at this park, especially on the edges of the area dense with ephemerals, but within the spring wildflower patches, garlic mustard doesn’t seem to be able to get well-established past the seedling stage, seen here. This was my first visit to this park, so we’ll see if that holds true over this year at the least.

Maramech Phenology

phenology (n): study of the influence of climate on recurring natural phenomena
1881, from German (phänologisch, Karl Fritsch, 1853) from Latin phaeno-, from Greek phaino-, from phainein “to show”

Show yourselves, little plants of Maramech Forest Preserve! It’s early April, time for some of you to wake up.

Phenology of Skunk Cabbage and Marsh Marigold
Hello skunk cabbage & marsh marigold. Laying low this year after last year’s early arrival eh?

Maramech Forest Preserve Ribes black currant gooseberry phenology bud burst
Hello extremely small currant leaves. Welcome back after your hibernation. I hope it was comfortable inside of those leaf buds.

Maramech Forest Preserve Viburnum lentago nannyberry phenology bud burst flower buds
Hello Viburnum flower buds. When you burst you look like brains.

The following plants are spring ephemerals.
These guys live in woodlands and bloom early in the year before the tree leaves come out.
That way, they can take advantage of the higher sunlight levels.

Maramech Forest Preserve Trillium leaves mosaic phenology
Hello tiny trillium leaves. You have an exquisite mosaic.

Maramech Forest Preserve cutleaf toothwort Cardamine
Hello cutleaf toothwort?

Maramech Forest Preserve Claytonia virginica spring beauty
Hello baby spring beauty?

Maramech Forest Preserve Dicentra
Hello tiniest Dicentra spp. flowers I’ve ever seen.

Maramech Forest Preserve Dicentra
Are you a squirrel corn or a Dutchman’s breeches? If I’d looked at your bulblets I’d know.
Anyhow, your foliage is already magnificent.

Maramech Forest Preserve waterleaf Hydrophyllum
Hello little waterleaf. Nice spots.