I took quite a few photos, but the real surprise for me was discovering Claytonia borealis (common name: bluebead lily). While I'm familiar with the plant, this is the first time I've seen it blooming in person (probably because it blooms right in the middle of the bug season and I usually make it my business to have business elsewhere than the woods at this time of year). It's more familiar to me as a plant with metallic blue berries toward the end of July or the beginning of August.
|Clintonia borealis whole view|
C. borealis is found in boreal forests in eastern North America (range map here) and is exclusively found in wooded/shaded areas [1,3] . In the more southern parts of its range, it is restricted to mountainous areas with appropriately cool, shaded habitat. This lovely little plant is endangered in Indiana and Ohio, threatened in Maryland, and of special concern in Tennessee . Unfortunately, the Plants of Canada database is currently down so I can't easily access information about its legal status up here. One Ontario source lists the plant as common, however, suggesting that at least in this province the plant isn't at any particular risk .
C. borealis is a member of the Lilaceae (lily family), and displays the 6-partite character of that family in the flowers, as shown in the picture below. The flower has 6 tepals (not petals, which only occur when there are also sepals).
|C. borealis flower, close view|
I was only able to go out and truly enjoy the weather because the bugs were less severe today. We're just hitting the tail end of bug season; even yesterday, things were bad enough that my mother was frequently singing The Blackfly, sometimes cheerfully and sometimes more resignedly. Since it's a hilarious and delightful song, I've embedded the video below; the animation is a real treat, too, done by the National Film Board (of Canada). Enjoy!