Sometimes the gems we seek can be elusive. Other times, grace delivers unexpected treasures when we least expect them.
I was feeling a little under the weather earlier this week—a touch of the stomach flu and the winter blahs, a pretty powerful combination that knocked me out of commission. As I started to come out of it, I read an article about the aurora borealis, or northern lights, and how we might be able to catch a glimpse of them here in southern
So the hubby and I set out to find a dark spot away from the city to try to catch a view. I’ve only seen them a couple of times. One time, they were shimmering, undulating ribbons of white across the sky. The other time, the movement wasn’t as dramatic but the colors were vibrant and indescribable.
I wish I could tell you we saw an amazing display this time. We think maybe we did see the northern lights, but they were very faint. We were probably too close to the city (even though we were on a very dark country road), and too far south.
The quest was fun anyway. It’s always healthy to get out of the house when you have cabin fever and simply want do something different. But an amazing view of the northern lights—nah.
If you want to see photos that come close to capturing the magic of the aurora, check out New Aurora Pictures: Solar Storms Trigger Northern Lights from nationalgeographic.com.
But when I got home, I decided to do a little plant research. (Nice segue, huh? But it’s what actually happened.) I stumbled across a picture of a plant that I’d been trying to ID since last April. There it was right in front of me—and I hadn’t even tried to find it this time. The plant:
It was Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum). Last April, I decided to spend more time in the wooded part of our property—to identify spring ephemerals and wildflowers. The Waterleaf was a plant I’d photographed but was unable to identify—until last night!
Others I found last spring (some of which I’ve already blogged about) included Common Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)…
Sweet Woodruff (Gallum odoratum)…
And a personal favorite, Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis).
I remember the day and the moment I discovered the Bloodroot. I was simply taking a quick stroll in the woods, when I captured the bright white of the tiny buds out of the corner of my eye. They were clustered around the base of a tree—sticking up no more than a few inches from the leaf-littered forest floor.
What can I say? It was just one of those fleeting moments of pure joy when you discover a miracle that has been right under your nose for a long time, but now you actually see it and appreciate it.
I found another plant in the woods last April that I know I should be able to identify. I remember seeing it in a horticultural class I took a few years back, but I can’t remember the name. Can you?
I can’t wait to get back in the woods to find more wildflowers this spring! I know the treasures are there—just waiting for me to discover them!