This time of year is when the wildflower world really comes to life in the Hills. Hiking in a ravine near Ghost Canyon Road today, winsome little spring flowers were lurking in the shadows beneath trees and on the shaded sides of the ravine. The shade was pleasant and cool, the sun was golden and becoming harsh, and the pines reached their gnarled limbs towards the blue heavens. Spring’s first wildflowers are diminutive and unassuming – Later come the flashy milkweeds and Joe Pye weed and sunflowers, flowers that aren’t content to simply be. But spring’s first flowers are the epitome of serenity.
Like pale butterflies sunning themselves, the star lilies bloomed on the warm, fragrant, open hillsides, understated, clinging close to the dusty earth. Leaving the sunny hillsides behind, we wended our way through brush that will soon be too thick to walk through, snagging spiderwebs and burdock and wayward grasshoppers.
Tucked back under dead tree limbs, the shootingstars hid away in the ferns and grasses, almost unnoticeable in spite of their bold color. The flowers nodded on their long stalks, swaying in the summery breeze, almost twinkling in the scattered sunlight.
Blue-eyed grass is a favorite of mine, to see it peeking up shyly, sparkling here and there in the sunlit places like a deep blue gem. Mankind just can’t craft the kind of beauty that God scatters liberally through His wonderful Creation.
The air was heavy today with the dusty, sagey, piney scent belongs to the Black Hills. The sunlight wakes it up, just like it wakes up the wildflowers in time for spring! My heart will always quicken when I catch a glimpse of yet another of my botanical favorites, or a new one I haven’t yet gotten to know. Over the last year, these flowers have become like friends, a special part of this special place I now call home.