Saturday, April 25, 2009

Moroccan food and violets

Today we went on our first rare plant foray of the calendar year - for the native dog violets, locally abundant only in a few pristine wooded areas. Unfortunately heavy, intermittent thunderstorms started right as we were setting up our survey, so we weren't able to safely monitor this weekend, but we did find a great Moroccan restaurant within reach, afterwards, and had hot minty tea and a wonderful tagine in its traditional ceramic cookpot. The company was great and we spent time discussing art, kids and upcoming monitoring plans, so it was time well spent.

The early-season marsh marigolds (Caltha palustris) were in their full golden glory and spring beauty, trout lilies and other early spring woodland ephemerals are well along. The trilliums are not yet up. Although our monitoring team has learned to easily ID dog violet, a stemmy, trailing violet with long-spurred light purple flowers, even out of bloom, it's just more fun to see them in their full glory, so I think we'll wait another week. I hope the weather is better next Saturday! : )