Harbingers of Spring

Scarlet Cups: a surprise of pre-spring colorAnn came back from a walk having seen these scarlet cups (fungus) and the title of this post is the phrase that came to mind. I thought that had been my term on the blog one spring, as it is an apt descriptor of this first dash of color weeks before the bloodroot and coltsfoot appears.

But I can’t find that I’ve used the term on Fragments for this transient “bloom” of March. But did find it described this way at Wikipedia–desperate winter, indeed!

One field guide says “it is a welcome sight after a long, desperate winter and is the harbinger of a new year of mushrooming.” Common over much of the northern hemisphere, it occurs in eastern North America, in the midwest, in the valleys between the Pacific coast and the Sierras and Cascades, and in the Old World (Europe, Africa, Australia, and India). It is also found in China.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. How beautiful! I must go out and see if we have any of these little jewels in our woods. Thanks so much, Fred!