Spring Beauties


Actually, Spring Beauties is another flowering plant that now that I think of it, is probably blooming just up the road.

Here is Trillium grandiflorum, white phase. It can also emerge as a light to medium shade of pink.

About 9:00 of a morning, the light tops the east ridge, sending angled shafts of sunlight through the trees. Branches are still only partially filled out as leaves slowly emerge.

If you keep your eyes open, you can sometimes find one of those beams of light from 90 million miles away where it falls just so, onto and at times, through the pedals of a wildflower,  the unlit background framing the bloom in black.

I like that.

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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. I love backlit leaves and flowers much more than front lit. I have made my photographer husband aware of this, when he had not noticed it before.

  2. Ah, the beautiful Trillium grandiflorum! Our Pacific Coast forests used to be full of them (or a very similar species). In fact, they were protected here for decades. It’s a long time since I’ve been hiking in the forest, so I’m not sure if we still have trilliums. I know we don’t have the same expanse of forest we had years ago, during the 70s, when I lived in the Comox valley on Vancouver Island. Thank you for that wonderful look back, Fred!