Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Among the wildflowers in Kaplan’s Woods May 5, 2021

Spring wildflowers at Kaplan’s Woods. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

FLOWERS OF SPRING EMERGE in the woods. Among layers of dried leaves. Among fallen limbs. Sometimes blanketing hillsides.

White trout lilies. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.
A mass of white trout lilies in the woods. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.
An unidentified, by me, wildflower cluster. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

Saturday morning, as Randy and I hiked through Kaplan’s Woods Park in Owatonna, I found myself searching the edges of the wood chip covered trails for wildflowers.

A sign inside the woods details the Parkway. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.
I love this foot bridge which crosses the creek and leads into the woods. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.
Near the creek, this solo boulder seems out of place in the woods. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

This time of year, especially, I crave flowers. They represent the shifting of seasons, of plant life erupting as the landscape transforms.

Dainty violets are among the spring wildflowers. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.
The largest of the wildflowers I saw. Can anyone identify these? Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.
The brightest of the flowers I spotted, this one also unknown to me. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

Green begins to fill the woods, accented by bursts of violet and yellow and white hugging the earth. Low to the ground, easily missed if you focus only on the trail ahead.

Low water. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

We have walked Kaplan’s only a few times and this visit I noticed the low water level of the creek that winds through the woods.

Hillside wildflowers. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

I noticed also the noise of traffic from nearby Interstate 35. Motorists en route somewhere on an incredibly warm and sunny morning in southern Minnesota. I hope that at some point they paused to appreciate the day. The sun. The trees. Maybe even the wildflowers. And the brush strokes of green tinting the landscape.

© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

14 Responses to “Among the wildflowers in Kaplan’s Woods”

  1. I just Love Spring! Lovely photos, Audrey.

  2. jhc1218 Says:

    We are loving this time of year seeing what pops out the of ground, especially in the wooded area behind our house. I spent quite a bit of time pulling garlic mustard this past weekend. There are jack in the pulpit back there, so that’s always fun to see. Looks like you have bloodroot and hispid buttercup in those photos.
    https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/bloodroot
    https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/hispid-buttercup

    -Jocelyn

  3. Juli McCarlson Says:

    Fun to view your photos of Minnesota spring!

  4. Sandra Says:

    There’s a TC Perennial Exchange private group on FB that I just marvel at what people know about all these beautiful flowers many varieties growing wild in fields and wherever they want. I’m an “appreciator” of all God’s small gifts, especially in Spring. Certainly understand why you seek out so many of the parks…enjoy!

  5. Love all those wild flowers, wasn’t Saturday just about perfect! So sunny and warm.

  6. If you have a phone with app capabilities you could download plant.net a plant id app. Very helpful when in the field.

  7. Valerie Says:

    Glad someone identified the flowers for you. One photo is the White Trout Lily…the leaves look like trout. 😉


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