Sunday, April 1, 2018
Finally enough snow has cleared the lane to make a walk across it possible. Snow still covered the ground here when the series of four northeasters passed close by us. Snow covering the Cardinal Flowers protected them from damage when the weather turned bitterly cold. This is the first time that these have been fully exposed this year. Ice still partially covered them at the end of February before new snow buried them again.
When this area was found last spring, damp soil was apparent but running water was absent. Piled stones suggested that in the past the farmer's children has created a dam to form a pool. At that time I had yet to see running water here. Today the flow had enough strength to make ripples on the surface as it tumbled over a crack in the dam.
Running water has opened up a fair sized channel as it drains into a small automobile sized depression. No water runs out of that pool. It all disappears into the deep gravel deposit that underlays the meadow.
This is the present condition of the daughter plants that formed around the base of each flowering stem. Under ideal conditions, six sister plants will surround the remains of the stalk. Generous growth creates a bit of a jumble so I cannot be certain of just how many plants are here. They will be left as they are since we are looking for wild plants here. Each plant will send up a single flowering stalk so we can count the number of plants here then. No actions will be taken to cover these plants when hard frost threatens since we need to know if native growth is possible in this location. If these plants are ended, we will still have a chance at plants from seed. Their flowers will be one year away but at least they will have a chance. Does my excitement show?