Wildflower season is in full bloom in much of the South. To celebrate, farm wife Catherine Pond shares a short essay with a series of images of wildflowers photographed from the Appalachian foothills near her Kentucky farm.
It was fifteen springs ago when we first came down from New Hampshire to look at land here and we have now lived on the farm that we bought for thirteen of them.
I was amazed on that first spring at the dappled, wooded slopes of pink and white trilliums in the hollers and wild miniature iris in the rocky ledges amidst clusters of wood violets. The same splays of yellow and purple toadshade trillium tumbling down the same bank by our farmhouse each year.
Throughout April I drive to favorite local wildflower haunts and greet the native forbs like old friends, while a lingering pageant of wild redbud and dogwood skims the edges of fields and roadways as I drive along.
This really was the “second Paradise” that Daniel Boone wrote about! And the beautiful landscape of American composer Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.
Spring in the South is glorious and delightfully long — the best time of year between a short winter and a long, hot summer. It’s when we can throw open our windows and wait for our mockingbird and swarm of barn swallows to return, just as they all did today, on April 28, as I write this.
If you ever doubt the divine, just spend a few hours along the road sides or in the woods in a Kentucky spring time.
For weeks, the mockingbird will sing his heart out to everyone, bird, animal, and tree within ear shot. The whippoorwill will call across the misty, greening fields, while the forest awakens once again.
For as long as I live, I will never tire of the glorious pageant of an Appalachian spring.