Governor Bridge Natural Area

first of the seasonMayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) has begun blooming, or at least it has at Governor Bridge Natural Area in Prince George’s County, south of Bowie. I made the acquaintance of two exquisitely tiny blue flowers, the five-petalled Smaller Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis laxa) and the four-petalled Bluets (Houstonia caerulea), also known as Quaker Ladies.

side by sideDown along the river trail, we had side-by-side looks at Solomon’s Seal (left) and Solomon’s Plume (right). Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum sp.) has a gently arching stem, smoothly curved, while the stem of Solomon’s Plume (Maianthemum racemosum) shows sort of a zigzag effect.

A bedraggled Common Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus) and Canada Pussytoes (Antennaria howellii Greene ssp. canadensis) with is bicolored leaves were our introduction to the Aster family.

Bonus birds for the trip: we heard the first Ovenbirds and Common Yellowthroats, and a few of us got brief looks at Louisiana Waterthrush (Seiurus motacilla).