by Carl Strang
Spring advances, despite the unpleasant weather that has denied our enjoyment of much of it so far. As I have sloshed through the rain and the mud at Mayslake Forest Preserve, I have been finding the first of the woodland wildflowers, so I guess it hasn’t really been as cold as I have thought.
Lots of spring beauties have taken advantage of last fall’s burn in the south savanna.
Views of pollinators still have been few.
The expansion of the Dutchman’s breeches population is gratifying.
Ongoing restoration clearing of buckthorn has shown the quickest response by trout lilies, which now can be found in great numbers in many places on the preserve.
It’s a little early yet to do a serious phenological comparison, but so far, compared to the last two years at Mayslake, first flower dates in 2011 have been the earliest for one species, latest for 2 species, and between those of 2009 and 2010 for 5 species.