The trout lilies are in bloom! Last Saturday, I noticed a bud on one. I knew they would soon be blooming.
These plants go by other names as well. One name is dog's tooth violet. My sixth-grade science teacher challenged us by saying anyone who brought one in would be guaranteed an 'A' for the year. I knew I could make an 'A' the ordinary way, but what fun was that? Unfortunately, he only showed the picture in the book once and refused to show it to those of us who weren't close enough to get a good look. I took several violets and even a bluet to class, but, alas, not a dog's tooth violet.
I think this is the plant my father called a turkey pea which is a common name used for another plant as well. Common names are like that and can sometimes be quite localized. The botanical name is Erythronium americanum. I happen to like the name trout lily, so named because the foliage is mottled like a trout.
The sight of the bank beside the trail flecked with spots of yellow here and there was just another sign that spring is in the air.