February: Trillium Walk

I just went to my calendar and scheduled this year’s trillium walk. It has become a “must do” for me every February.

Trillium (Trillium sp.)

Trillium is an ephemeral wildflower. If you don’t go at the right time, you will not get to see them. Many Louisiana wildflowers bloom on and on, some for months. Not so trillium. It’s here today, gone next week.

It’s name comes from its trinitarian structure: three leaves, three sepals offset from the leaves so that they cover the edges where the leaves meet, and three flame-like petals. We have three species in Louisiana, all having red flowers. White-flowered ones grow in other parts of the country.

And this photo reminds me of another challenge! I’m a naturalist and pride myself on learning to properly identify all manner of creature “in the wild.” I have been trying to learn to distinguish the Louisiana species from each other, so far to no avail.

So… having just scheduled this year’s trip, I’m about to invite some botanist friends to come along. Local friends, I’m going Saturday, February 13, to a location near Columbia. IM me if you’re interested in going for a fun hike that day.

BTW, look closely. You might see a surprise in the photo. That’s part of the fun of nature photography: Sometimes when you get to the computer, you discover a photo-bomber you did not see in the field!

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