As children, my sisters and I were often taken on Sunday-afternoon excursions into the woods at the back of the farm. Mom taught us the names of the spring flowers, the names of the trees under which they grew, and identified songbirds by sight and call, nest and egg.
All six of us would fan out on a hunt for wildflowers!
Having found a glade covered in snow-white trilliums, shouts rang through the woods, “Come over here!” Dewy, three-petalled blooms!! Trilliums, our provincial emblem, are borne on single stems with three-part leaves. Sometimes trilliums pop up in the most unusual places…becoming “comely comrades” of old, mossy stumps.
Besides the pure white trilliums, we searched for Jack-in-the-pulpits, low growing violets in hues of blue, yellow, or white, big umbrellas, clusters of fragile pink mayflowers, yellow dogtooth violets with splotchy leaves, white Dutchman’s breeches dangling above finely cut greenery, hepaticas whose ‘blood’ stained our hands, and crimson trilliums…wonders of the springtime woods!
“Come over here!” rang out again and again as exciting discoveries were made!
We couldn’t go home, though, without adding leeks (wild onions) to our bouquets, digging them out of the black, black earth with the sharp end of a stick. How good they tasted with a slice of bread and butter!
Years later, my husband, Lloyd, photographed the trilliums and stump in a woods near Woodstock along Highway 401 – comely comrades!