Sunday, May 5, 2013

Annual May visit to Messenger Woods

Messenger Woods Pano-Edit-Edit

This is now my 5th year of heading to Messenger Woods Forest Preserve (Homer Glen, IL) in early May.  Virginia Bluebells and Trillium are usually in abundance by the first weekend in May, although there have been a few “dud” years when that did not hold true.  Last year’s freakish early Spring had the bluebells and trillium already done and fading by early May.  A few years before that, a drought had prevented much of the wildflower bloom.

Spring this year has felt a few weeks late, so I wasn’t sure if anything would be blooming yet but I put my tall rubber boots on and trodded into the woods with my camera bag.  The paths I had taken previously to the main bluebell grove were completely impassable due to a number of tall oaks being blown down from last year’s storms, so I had to start out on the main trail and backtrack along the creek bed to reach them. 

Fortunately, the creek bed was relatively dry and easy to walk without leaving an impact.  With delicate wildflower groves like this, one should be careful not to trample the plants or “leave a trace” with muddy footprints.

I first found a small patch of large-flowered trillium to photograph.  Just love these beauties!

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The Mayapples were also growing quite well.  Love those cute little “umbrellas” in early Spring.

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But it was the Virginia Bluebells I came to see, and wow were they ever looking good this year!  They are absolutely at peak right now and very abundant.

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Lots of woodpeckers and warblers in the woods today as well, but I didn’t bring my long telephoto lens, so had to settle for just listening to them and watching them with binoculars.

Spring has now officially “sprung” here in Chicago!

6 comments:

  1. I guess you didn't see any rare turtles on this trip, but my oh my what a beautiful blooming time you had! :)

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  2. I love closeups of the little flowers, isn't nature amazing? Each is so different and so beautiful in it's own way. Thanks for the photos. :)

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  3. Love bluebells. I like to check for chiggers then lay down in a field of bluebells... under a Mayapple umbrella. ~ love the woods. I grew up with my very own pine grove woods ... can still smell that smell...

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