To make a long story short, I didn't find any wildflowers. However, I did find a few interesting things to photograph.
Much of the back end of Chipp-A-Waters park is covered by floodplain forest. One of the dominant species in this habitat was the Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica). I say was, because most of the ash trees have died over the past few years - killed by Emerald Ash Borer larvae. Over the past two years many of these trees have begun to blow down.
|Wind-thrown Green Ash trees at Chipp-A-Waters Park|
Although I did not find any flowers, I did find several patches of Wild Leeks (Allium tricoccom) poking through last year's leaf litter. Wild Leeks, which are also known as Ramps, are a highly-sought-after edible plant. Both the leaves and the underground bulb can be eaten. They have a mild "onion" taste. I highly recommend trying them. If you plan on harvesting any of these to eat, make sure that every plant has an onion smell. There are many look-a-likes, some of which are extremely toxic. Unfortunately, it is not okay to harvest this plant from any of Mt. Pleasant's parks - it is against park rules.
|Wild Leek leaves|
|Wild Leek - leaves and last year's flower stalks|
|Wild leeks and Red Oak leaf|
Besides the patches of Wild Leeks, the only green to be found was in patches of moss growing on logs and tree trunks.
|Moss on a Green Ash log|
Even though there was not much new growth to be found, there was still plenty to photograph, such as these oak leaves and acorn. I really liked the dark, monochromatic look of this photo.
|Leaves and acorn|
Another subject that I found to photograph was the fertile fronds from last year's Cinnamon Ferns (Osmunda cinnamomea).
|Last year's fertile frond|
|Fern fronds in an icy pool|
I didn't spend much time in the park, only about thirty minutes total, but I was happy just to get out into the woods. I hope to be doing a lot more of that in the coming weeks as birds return and wildflowers begin to bloom.