Wow! Springtime overload! Days are not long enough this time of year. I could have used about five more hours this afternoon.
I made so many discoveries today that I couldn't help but think about the early naturalists' experiences. Mark Catesby, for example, is one of my personal heroes, as he was the first to discover and record the beauiful Catesby's Trillium that grows in the woods behind our house. He wandered South Carolina in the 1720's, discovering brand new species day after day. He too would draw and paint them - but instead of looking them up in field guides, he named them!
Even if it's not as dramatic as being the first to ever see a species, I found and identified two new wildflowers today - Lanceleaf Anemone and Sessile-leaf Bellwort. Both were on the north-facing bank of Lawson's Fork, the Anemone down such a steep bank that my best view of it was through binoculars. While drawing it, I almost slid down into the river. Daisy watched, but didn't try to come down with me. The Bellwort is very subtle, but once I saw the creamy yellow flower I noticed the plants all over the hill down to the river.
On top of the hill is a rough trail wide enough for a truck, that makes an easier walk around the side of the rocky ridge, overlooking Meetinghouse Creek as it makes a U-turn and then heads down the other side of the ridge to the river. In the middle of that trail is where I found the strange (unidentified) mushroom, and when I sat to draw that, where I noticed the single blade that to me looks suspiciously orchid-like (luckily it didn't break when Daisy sat on it) and the little bright green seedlings (in the same family as the Bellwort?) that popped back up after being stepped on by you-know-who.
Later, as I was drawing the Morel mushroom, with Daisy on the bluff above my head, I had no fear that she would do anything as stupid as trying to come straight down the cliff to where I was... but sure enough, within five minutes she couldn't stand it anymore. She had to see what I was looking at so intently. Down she came, crashing/sliding through ferns and wildflowers, leaves, sticks and rocks, right past me and into the pool in Meetinghouse Creek. Geeze! Somehow the little Morel survived the event, but I quickly packed and moved away lest Daisy come back over to investigate. Besides, I wanted her to stay in the clear, clean water to help wash off the black muck she'd gotten into while I was admiring the wild azaleas down a steep bank near the river. I heard the PLOOP! as she jumped into a part of Meetinghouse Creek I've never seen (too much Dog Hobble!), but she was out of sight so I didn't realize until I heard her come to sit behind me and turned to speak to her, what had happened. Luckily I had my phone/camera in my hand to capture her beautiful feet.
Daisy shows off springtime mud!