Spring in North Carolina

Looks like we’ll be lucky this year and experience two Spring bloomings! Vacationing in North Carolina last week we saw dogwoods, azaleas, lilacs, oxalis, violets, buttercups, wild strawberries and vincas in full bloom. The timing was too early for the garden roses, although there were buds present, and we were just in time to see the first garden iris bloom.

This beautiful iris just opened to greet the sunrise.
This beautiful iris just opened to greet the sunrise.

On our next trip to North Carolina I’ll get a cutting of this gorgeous Formosa azalea — its blossoms are probably two to three times the size of a typical azalea bloom.

Beautiful Formosa azalea practically shouted — It's Spring!.
Beautiful Formosa azalea practically shouted — It’s Spring!

A wildflower that caught my eye was the Star-of-Bethlehem which appeared in the lawn. The white blossoms contrast nicely with its bright yellow stamens. It has a habit much like the oxalis in that its blooms open in the sunlight and close without the sun. It took until about noontime on a sunny day for the blooms to fully open. The Star-of-Bethlehem has basal leaves that are entire and have a pale midrib. The white petals have a distinctive green stripe on the backside.

The white blossoms of Star-of-Bethlehem open only in the sunshine.
The white blossoms of Star-of-Bethlehem open only in the sunshine.

We stayed with friends on our vacation to collect marine fossils from sediments that date back to over one million years. Their very affectionate cat, Squeaky, found a great place to soak up the morning sun as he lay near the pink azaleas in full bloom.

Squeaky soaks up the sun!
Squeaky soaks up the sun!

We had a fantastic time on our trip and can’t wait to repeat it. During the recuperative days when we were not crawling around on our hands and knees looking for fossils, we enjoyed our time visiting with our friends and watching the hummingbirds chase each other from the sugar water feeders. The plentiful flowers attracted many swallowtail butterflies like this female on a lilac blossom.

A female swallowtail butterfly sipping nectar from a lilac.
A female swallowtail butterfly sipping nectar from a lilac.

Thanks to Pat and Ken for a fantastic vacation! See you again real soon!!

4 thoughts on “Spring in North Carolina

  1. Squeaky sends his thanks for making him famous! His paws are very sore from signing autographs.

    Squeaky’s Mom

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