Small raccoon skull

Small Raccoon Skull, Wintergreen, Orchids in the Last of the Snow

The snow is nearly gone, and we let the fire in the wood stove go out while the cats and dog and I hiked up the East Ridge to see what there was to see.

Pip and Bee scout the trail ahead
Pip and Bee scout the trail ahead
Rocky in the last of the snow
Rocky in the last of the snow

I was pleased to find another downy rattlesnake orchid; we have a colony of these down near the house, but the deer have eaten them back a couple of years in a row and they’ve not been able to bloom. This one was all by itself, but maybe it will bloom this summer.

Another downy rattlesnake orchid
Another downy rattlesnake orchid

I also found this small raccoon skull upside down by the first Spring Beauty of the year. Soon these flowers will be in enough abundance that I’ll be able to harvest some for a salad. The little skull I carried down the ridge to join our other raccoon skull in the slough.

First spring beauty in bloom by raccoon skull
First spring beauty in bloom by raccoon skull
Small raccoon skull
Small raccoon skull (with Bee in background)

Eventually something will carry one or both of them off to nibble at the bone for the mineral content, but sometimes I find them again.

Also found several colonies of pipsissewa, or wintergreen, near the Speared Tree. Will have to watch for the creamy white blooms in summer; they are quite lovely.

Pipsissewa or wintergreen
Pipsissewa or wintergreen

Also, an acorn stack with a beechnut hull (we were in a beech grove), Pip on the Speared Tree, and Bee in the sunshine. Good, good hike.

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