First Anemone

Posted: February 5th, 2010 under photography, Plantlife, Water.
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At the end an hour slogging around a very wet, running-water-wet field as the sun gets low, you might wonder why you didn’t go back before now.  Then you look down and there it is…the first one this spring.  The sheer audacity of it–that determined stem, those leaves reaching for sunlight, and then that fragile, pale pink flower.

Today, rubber boots were a necessity.   The water in the north horse lot wasn’t decorative enough, even though wide puddles stood here and there.  But the near meadow had a broad stream trickling across it:


Water quality, as gauged by turbidity, is excellent here–this is the clarity you want.


The water here is only a few inches deep, but both the color and detail of the winter-killed grass on the bottom can be clearly seen.   Pools further upslope were progressively murkier, still receiving water from the highway and the land on the other side of it, through the culvert.

Standing water on one of the mowed maintenance trails:


One of the pools in the old ditch, water flowing steadily.   Culvert under highway is that pale rectangle between trees.


Arc-pool in the natural secondary drainage:


These two pictures represent what we’ve worked towards, both in the human-disturbed land forms, like the old ditch, and in the older natural drainage channels.  The ditch originally ran almost straight, with bare banks.  The secondary drainage had multiple erosion problems.  Now a wide stretch of the natural drainage, like the inside of the ditch, has become a wet-season wetland.   Walking it is a mix of squelch-squelch-squelch and splash.   The great blue heron stalks both these pools (and several others in the same drainage.)


It makes for interesting walking.    So you see why I was so happy to spot that anemone…if not the first, the first I’d seen this year…and celebrate its beauty.  Here’s a another look at it:



  • Comment by Steve Willson — February 5, 2010 @ 9:44 pm


    I always enjoy looking at clear water. Some people are so used to seeing muddy water that they don’t realize clear water can exist.

    The first flower of the season is always exciting. We won’t be seeing any flowers here for a while. We’re on the edge of a massive winter storm and have slushy ice starting to build up. When the low moves through tonight, we’ll start getting snow. I’m hoping we don’t lose the electricity or get buried in snow.

    Thanks for sharing the flower and the clear water.

  • Comment by elizabeth — February 6, 2010 @ 12:18 am


    I wish you good luck in the storm.

  • Comment by Judy Sproles — February 6, 2010 @ 8:30 am


    Thank you so much for sharing your photographic eye with us. That flower is beautiful. The lighting is perfect, it brings out the stark contrasts of early spring. Of course your description is literary. I always look forward to more posts like these.

  • Comment by elizabeth — February 6, 2010 @ 9:17 am


    Thank you for the kind words! The flower certainly made the day for me. I’d gone out in a royal snit about something–the land always has lessons for me–and there it was. Fresh, glowing in that late slanting light, and so much the opposite of my original mood that I had to squat down and take its picture over and over.

  • Comment by OtterB — February 6, 2010 @ 3:39 pm


    Nice. But, like the earlier commenter, it has something of a disconnect with reality for me here in the DC area. We’ve got more than 20 inches of snow and it’s not quite done yet. Spring? What is this thing you call spring?

  • Comment by Doranna — February 6, 2010 @ 9:15 pm


    Flower…so very pretty! Amazing to me that you’re having spring…

  • Comment by elizabeth — February 6, 2010 @ 9:49 pm


    When I was living on the East Coast (D.C. area) my mother used to send me word of spring’s arrival in South Texas. Though it was still cold and nasty where I was, I loved hearing that spring was once more coming. On a cold, miserable day, I could think about the ash tree in the patio, with its first golden-green leaves…it was a comfort.

    Now I’m on some nature listservs that, all together, keep me tuned to weather north and south. I shiver with one group of friends, and swelter with the one now in Central America.

  • Comment by elizabeth — February 7, 2010 @ 3:47 pm


    And today, in Austin, I saw two plum trees in exuberant full bloom. I’d seen a row of japonicas alongside I-35, I think near the north side of Round Rock, but I’ve forgotten…that were about half out, that gorgeous rich pink. Still a lot of twigginess, though–not solid lumps of color. But the plums did surprise me.

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