“Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.”
— Theodore Roethke, from “The Stony Garden” in Straw for the Fire: From the Notebooks of Theodore Roethke, 1943-63, ed. David Wagoner.
It’s finally spring here in northern New England. I know this because the flowers whose roots have held the light under snow-covered ground all winter are starting to emerge, incandescent, glistening, shimmering.
And none more so than the wild red trilliums (Trillium erectum, also called red wakerobin), just beginning to bloom at Kezar Lake in Sutton, NH today.
The coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), which blooms first and then comes into leaf, shines against the dull oak leaves like scrambled eggs on toast.
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), a member of the poppy family, whose rhizome exudes an orange-red juice when cut, is almost pellucid in petal, its stamens aglow.
Then there’s hellebore, sometimes reflecting light, sometimes seeming to be the source of the light itself .
The purples and greens of violets and grape hyacinths (both in my garden) are so welcome after months without these vivid hues.
Hobblebush (Viburnum lantanoides) at Kezar Lake today barely contains its chemical flame — “the force that through the green fuse drives the flower,” as Dylan Thomas puts it — within its whitelight-rimmed leaves, the chlorine gas cast of its young flowers.
Ferns (Kezar Lake today) are starting to emerge, furled, their emerald green glossy with reflected sunlight.
And the loons are back — and too far away for a good photo — on Sutton’s Kezar Lake!