26 April 2011

Monday forest photo: April 25, 2011

2:45pm 17C overcast

From this distance, things look much the same this week as last, but spring is definitely springing. We had some terrible icy weather since last Monday, but we've had some lovely mild and sunny days, too.

In the last couple of days, the Trout Lilies have started to emerge. I found this description at Andy's Northern Ontario Wildflowers (a wonderful resource!):
Forms a colony of 1-leaved sterile shoots with no flowers and a few 2-leaved fertile plants with flowers. The mottled leaves resemble the skin pattern of a brook trout. The Trout Lily is pollinated by ants, and after a seed is planted, it takes up to seven years for a mature plant to grow and flower. Trout Lily has a fascinating seed dispersal mechanism - its seeds are dispersed by ants through a process called myrmecochory (pronounced "mirme ko ko re"). Attached to the outside of the seeds is a fleshy structure called an elaiosome. The elaiosome is rich in oils and proteins. Ants carry the seed to their nest and feed the elaiosome to their larvae. The remaining seed is discarded in the ant's nutrient-rich waste pile. This symbiotic relationship benefits the ant, which gets a food source, and benefits the plant because the seed is dispersed, is protected from rodents, and is placed in a nutrient rich area in the ants nest where the seed has a greater likelihood of growing.


  1. Thank you for posting this I have been admiring these lilies all over my bush. We have always wondered what they were.. I love the forest this time of year everything coming up after a long winter. I found you on Subsistence pattern. I must look for this book. Thank you. B

  2. You're welcome! Andy's Northern Ontario Wildflowers is a website, so just click on the link. There are lots of pictures too.

  3. I know what I'm about to say is absolutely ridiculous (we have a hunting shack 14 km from pavement and I can relate to your lovely 'shack' :)).... I'm always amazed at how much late fall and early spring look so much alike (and feel so different).

    Fall is cold, Spring is warm Fall is start of 'bad' weather, spring is start of 'good.' Both change colours (technically) and both have unique smells...

    but it's easy to forget that under the blanket of winter the arms of time often pause. Time for us to get north very soon - thanks for the reminder :)


  4. I completely agree about fall and spring feeling so different in spite of how it looks. This is the great pleasure of having a forest right out the back door - I get to see even the subtle changes.

    Thanks for dropping by!



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