Normally in April, nature lovers and photographers alike in the greater metropolitan Baltimore/DC area would find spectacular displays of early spring wildflowers at Turkey Run and Scott’s Run Nature Preserve near Fairfax, VA; throughout the Thompson Wildlife Management Area near Linden, VA; and, all along the trails in Shenk’s Ferry Wildflower Preserve in Lancaster County, PA. However, thanks to our mild winter and warm spring temperatures most early spring wildflowers have reached their peak blossom weeks earlier than in years past.

Dutchman’s breeches and squirrel corn, two of my favorite early spring wildflowers, are well past peak. I checked everywhere but have completely missed seeing hepatica. White trillium are at peak now; wild columbine is in bloom now; and, Solomon’s seal is already budding at several sites. Time is a wastin’ so head to your favorite nature sites and look for wildflowers that generally bloom a little later in the spring … such as the very nice golden ragwort I found this past weekend.

One benefit to the unseasonably warm spring is the early appearance of spiders and insects. Be sure to bring along your macro lens to capture images of these little critters. The feature image of this posting features a ground crab spider from Shenk’s Ferry. Notice I captured a catch light in four of its six eyes 🙂