Better than chocolate bunny ears

c4670934-429a-4ad5-a309-5e643be723edOn Saturday, my old frayed running shoes picked up another layer of camouflage.

Easter Eve started out chilly, with thick frost and a skim of ice on the goats’ and donkeys’ water pans.f04836dd-60e0-4c6f-904b-068631678062 On the quarry, wood duck and mallard couples made come-hither eyes at each other until we spoiled the fun. Wood ducks skittered over the east bank and a mallard duck “wank, wank, wanked” toward Riley Creek, her emerald-headed, testosterone-addled suitor in pursuit. 22a018ab-350c-442f-bdfd-262d00d61d72
The turtles were more confident, waiting until we had our cameras out before they slid below water surfaces. Steve found one crossing between Cranberry Run and the oxbow “cut-off”, a wetland left when Allen County engineers tried to tame the little creek’s meanderings half a century ago.

c61571af-e857-498b-8471-737a025bbcdeWe saw bloodroot leaves uncurling from the ground. Native Americans used the red extract from this wildflower’s roots as a natural dye, most notably for basket weaving. Above ground and growing wild in the sunlit clearing around the old homesteads well north of the tallgrass meadow, the bloodroot flowers bloom.

a50e38b0-ea6a-4d59-bcca-040f7f0940caA few spring beauties and ramps dot the southeast ridge as it rises east of the cut-off. In the warmer air and spongy soil in the U of the oxbow, three toadshade trilliums fan over moss f4cb27d4-c57e-4d8b-8dfd-5a3ef1c4e172and decaying stumps crawling with industrious crustaceans.

Steve counted four species of butterfly, including two red admirals duking it out with anglewings–commas or question marks?–a camera-shy mourning cloak and a spring azure doing some sort of strange contortions in the back field.

We also picked up several bottles and cans, one with the smaller V from an old pull tab. These are the ‘blooms’ that are best picked. Never planted is even better.

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