01.05.2019 Harbinger

But what is being harbinged? Skunk Cabbage-Symplocarpus foetidus is an early adopter of spring so one might think it indicates the arrival of that season.  But this was on January 2nd.  Just a wee bit early for anything to be budding around here.  I’ve seen Skunk Cabbage budding up through the March snows, but mid-winter…not.

Now I will admit that this is in a roadside seep in Quabbin Park, usually warming quickly, and there are always early Skunk Cabbage buds and flowers, Not this early though. They generate their own heat and, hopefully, that will carry them through the predicted and expected cold weather ahead of us later this month. I’ll also admit that the leaves really attracted me here and I would have made this image even without the buds.

Rain as forecast all day today and just barely freezing tonight.  Ah, but tomorrow night approaches single digits so ice for Monday morning may be a possibility.


About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Intimate Landscape, Landscape, Nature Photography, Quabbin, Wildflowers and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to 01.05.2019 Harbinger

    • It is more so than most of our winter has provided to date. The poor folks in the south have seen the worst of it although I think you’ve had your share of winter’s goodness as well.


  1. bluebrightly says:

    It’s a very interesting image…the processing gives it a watercolor feeling. You said it’s been warm, so that’s probably why they’re up so early. I don’t know where they are around here, but where I used to live there was a patch or two I watched, and I don’t remember them ever being this early (our species is a little different but I think basically the same). Anyway, maybe their tips will get burnt by the ice. It will be interesting to see what happens.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My first glance caught all the leaves, which as you said would be subject enough for a photograph in their own right. Your skunk cabbage plays the same role as my goldeneye in providing a welcome sight in the first days of January.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like the leaf stew, and the green sprouts investigating life above ground. And I like “what is being harbinged” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gallivanta says:

    The skunk cabbage buds look very perky. What do they know that the forecasters don’t. I wonder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Apparently, from what I have learned in a Facebook group, this is not at all unusual. What is unusual is seeing them revealed when they most times are buried beneath the snow. So I guess the forecasters may end up correct…we’ll see. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lemony says:

    Yes, as others have already indicated, the word “interesting” comes to mind. I think your image also captures the strangeness (eeriness) of warm temperatures in winter. Hope the ice comes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do too. It just won’t be winter without snow and ice. Plus, as someone who enjoys photographing streams and brooks in the summer, without an ice pack to melt the streams and brooks will run dry.


  6. Cool image! Love the colors and detail!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. shoreacres says:

    Being unfamiliar with skunk cabbage, I would have looked at those buds and thought, “Crocus? Hyacinth?” — if I hadn’t read your description. I found the blues and coppery browns of the leaves more compelling. I’ve never seen such blue leaves. Is that their natural color, or a result of some sort of post-processing? Perhaps they’re underwater, and it’s a reflection from the sky that’s at play. In any event, I think it’s a marvelous image: unusual, and really quite beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There was a thin coat of ice which did catch some blue from the sky and, of course, there was just a bit of a chill in the air. The colors may have been enhanced a bit when adjusting contrast, but no intent on my part. I thought about some color correction but decided it worked for me. I have an acquaintance on Facebook who spends a lot of time photographing leaves and grasses among other things and he also captures a lot of blue leaves.
      Skunk cabbage lives up to its name if you break a leaf. Here is a related post from a few years back.


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