But anyway, I was hiking in Ridley Creek State Park which is about 16 miles from center city Philadelphia. It is HUGE and seems to be comprised mostly of Liriodendron tulipifera and Fagus grandifolia trees, although neither of them were showing any signs of leafing out, yet. At the ground layer I am sad to report the dominant plant life was Rosa multiflora, which was already leafing out. Perhaps this approximation of groundcover isbiased since there was no sign of life on any other shrubby plants, but really, there were tons of roses all over the place.
The hike wasn't completely depressing, though. There were many patches of Polystichum acrostichoides, the evergreen Christmas fern, poking out through the fallen leaf litter and growing on the side of rock banks. This is one of my favorite ferns because you can literally find it year round. Yeah, I realize it was probably dormant today, but it was there and it was green, and when you're sick of winter that's all you need.
|Polystichum acrostichoides and moss|
|Skunk cabbage Spathe|
As we were heading out of the park, I noticed a flash of color. Yellow. And in the grey woods that yellow stood out.