Field Notes: Jewel Worlds in Teaser Season

Every year in late January or early February, we seem to get a week or so of lovely weather: sunny skies, temperatures in the 50′s that lure us out into the forest or onto the beach. And every year I succumb to the hope that spring is really on its way early this year, that the abiding gray will give way to blue, that the scent of moist air will get its floral infusion in February instead of April.

Cliff Mass’s weather forecast assures me that teaser season will soon be over; we’re due for rain in a couple of days. If past years are a good guide, we’ll then likely be under mostly gray skies through early June.

Teaser season’s clear afternoons often follow foggy mornings, since overnight clear skies allow the air to cool enough so its moisture condenses to form droplets.

Fog breaks over Vashon Island, WA January 25, 2014

Fog breaks over Vashon Island, WA
January 25, 2014

So after yesterday’s morning fog began to clear, it felt good to get out for a while yesterday in the sunlit forest, and to look closely at the new life that’s expanding sneakily under the radar.

The hellebore in my Easter garden is in full bloom, its broad pink blossoms facing coyly downwards where it’s easy to overlook them from our towering human heights.

Hellebore blossom and buds

Hellebore blossom and buds

A strategically placed mirror reveals the veined exuberance hidden beneath that green veil:

Hellebore blossom from below

Hellebore blossom from below

But it was a budding witch hazel in my neighborhood park that wore worlds of jewels, each a minuscule aquarium bearing a forest within.

Witch hazel offers a necklaced bud

Witch hazel offers a tiny necklaced bud
(Bud is ~ 1/8″ in diameter)

Dewdrop garland on witch hazel

Dewdrop garland on witch hazel

Dewdrop suspended from witch hazel. Brown area at top of drop is the inverted image of the twig above.

Dewdrop suspended from witch hazel.
Brown area at top of drop is the inverted image of the twig above the drop.

Forest on a pedestal. (Image is inverted; dewdrop was suspended from a twig.)

Forest on a pedestal.
(Image is inverted; dewdrop was suspended from a twig.)

And in a celebratory finale, this miniature Disneyland castle sprouts exuberantly atop a fencepost.

Mold mycelium with sporangiophores (about 1/2" across)

Mold mycelium with sporangiophores
(about 1/2″ across)
(Click here for closeup of lower part.)

Happy teaser season! May your senses open wide to its worlds of wonder.

(If you see an ad below this blog post, please note that I have no control over it or its contents. WordPress inserts ads into blogs of those who don’t purchase a “no ads” upgrade.)

About these ads

5 responses to “Field Notes: Jewel Worlds in Teaser Season

  1. Trileigh, I don’t know which of these wonderland of images I like most – the fog shrouded island, the hellebore, the dewdrops, the “forest in a pedestal”. They are all magical, as are your descriptions of them. Looking out my window at snow that’s closing in on a week old, it is a delight to see photos that hint of spring.

  2. Beautiful jewel-like wonders. I’m glad to have this time of year to work in the garden because it will very soon be way too mucky! Thx for the lovely snaps.

  3. Forest on a Pedestal! Love it!

  4. Thank you for your ‘small’ contributions to the ‘big’ masterpiece of everything. Northwest Pacific gardeners view the garden often through a lens of water. In the big view, this is not so bad for plants and humans. As a molecular biologist once said to me, “Think small, or not at all.” – The Healing Garden gardener

  5. Your photos are spectacular! But isn’t it early for the hellebores to be in full bloom? wow! I’ve got things coming up but nothing flowering. Time to go check out the snowdrop status in Carkeek Park.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s