yellow in the mud
April 19, 2010
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If you live in the northern states east of the Mississippi, you know that the hiking trails are soggy with mud. As the snow melts and the spring rain showers fall, the ground becomes saturated. At this point the leaves have not come out on the trees yet, and the woods look somewhat bare and drab. However, there is one vivid exception to all of this muddy, messy, and grey early spring landscape: The Marsh Marigold (Caltha Palustrus). Around this time of year, those silty and slimy soils of the North Woods are dotted bright yellow from the blossoms of these magnificent flowers. Their bright and cheerful petals with their lush, circular-shaped leaves stand in stark contrast to the mud substrate in which they grow.
Next time you are trudging through the mud on a desperate early spring hike, keep your eye out for this magnificent wildflower. Just remember to wipe the mud off of your shoes when you get back home.