Fireworks Underfoot

Impressive rains in early May gave everyone in this region plenty to talk about. Water accumulated in places it hasn’t been seen in years, if not decades. Springs sprang back to life, and long-dried-out seeps began weeping once again–presumably from joy. Rivers, streams and creeks raged. Lakes, ponds, and reservoirs brimmed, and overflowed. Roads flooded.

The water has subsided, but its legacy lives on in grass, a marvel of green spread over the landscape, persisting, now, with the onset of summer thunderstorms.

The flowers have been coming on gradually, but by now the only way to describe their abundance is to call it an explosion–or millions of them: spangles, sparks, sprays, and bursts. Everywhere I turn there’s a new arrangement: a glorious carpet here, a simple bright stem there, an unexpected color combination around the corner. The blossoms banner in the foreground and flutter demurely in the background. Still more are waiting in the wings: many of our most prolific and reliable native plants are still biding their time for a high summer showtime.

The variety and abundance make me dizzy. I’m in awe every time I walk outside or look out the window. So, in honor of the recent Fourth of July weekend, I put together a slideshow to share some of the botanical wealth. If a picture is worth a thousand words, this is my longest blog post to date. I apologize in advance if the images take a little time to load, but I hope you enjoy the show.

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