The morning sun felt wonderful as we walked along the river trail at the White House Farm, enjoying the early signs of spring. The mayapple and trillium are just emerging, pushing up through the leaf litter under the Osage orange and boxelder trees. It seems like a late spring, with day time temperatures hovering in the 40s and 50s and below-freezing at night; only a few bluebells growing in full sun have bloomed, the other blossoms remaining as tight clusters on the plants.
We enjoyed discussing our local ecosystem with members of Sustainability Matters, a new collaborative of organizations and individuals in the Shenandoah Valley focused on gardening, nature conservation and environmental awareness.
The group demonstrated keen interest and observation, sharing much of their knowledge of our wonderful native trees, flowers and shrubs.
We even saw a mourning cloak butterfly which overwinters as an adult by seeking shelter in leaf litter and in tree hollows and bark.
This is such an exciting time of the year with the forests and gardens waking up from winter – get outside and enjoy it!