Sarah and Rose have been helping Chad to clean out the sap lines up in the sugarbush, and they’ve been seeing quite a few of spring’s early plants. The sugarbush, with its marked steep slopes, is a great place to find spring ephemerals. These early growing plants thrive in undisturbed soil. You can often tell the history of the landscape by noting where spring ephemerals are found. In places that may historically have been pasture, you are not likely to spot Spring Beauties, Dutchman’s Breeches, Trout lilies, and more. Grazing, even done decades ago, can compact soil and disturb the dispersal of spring ephemerals’ seeds (see this awesome article on ants and plants). On the steeper slopes of the sugarbush, historic sheep grazing probably wasn’t so prevalent, and so the vernal plants remain.
For more information on Trout lilies click here and for more info on Spring Beauties click here