Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Pristine Plant called a Trillium

For the past nine days I've been pretty sick with a virus, all the flu symptoms with dizziness and extreme tiredness. Thursday and Friday I left work early, crashing on the sofa as soon as I walked through the front door and going to bed at 8pm. By Saturday I was done with sleeping and dozing so decided to go to a local woodland where one of the largest displays of trilliums can be seen. I drove the country route enjoying seeing the new green on the branches and the fresh growth in fields and hedgerows.
I parked and got my camera out, noting that there were a couple of other hikers here enjoying the spring flowers. The trilliums were at their finest. I was told that they start out as pink flowers that gradually turn into a pure white. I'd never come across them before and was captivated. I supposed because of their strange name and unusual shape, they seemed to me to be an alien flower from outer space. I kept thinking of The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, but of course those plants had no similar features to these gorgeous blooms. No sooner had I a taken a couple of photos when huge drops of rain started plopping heavily on the leaves around me. I rushed to the car, feeling vulnerable because of my ill health and collapsed shakily into the car seat, quickly closing the door.
The heavens opened. Thunder cracked and flashes of lightning flickered through the trees. But it was a short lived storm and after a few minutes the sky brightened again with the rain tapering off. I decided to try again and clambered out of the car. The sun was trying to shine, glinting off the glistening pure white petals, and with the newness of the leaves, the green foliage was vivid.
I crouched down to photograph some of the blooms but it was a struggle, a wave of dizziness hitting me every time I stood upright, and I was very glad that i hadn't brought my bigger heavier camera.
Jack in the Pulpit, known in England as Cuckoo Pint.
I wasn't sure what these white blooms were; there are many wild flower species here, it's so pretty. I walked down a path but was nervous about how far I should go. I was feeling lightheaded and marveled at how fit I had been the weekend before, not batting an eyelid at cycling over 40 miles, and here I was in a wood, just a few days later, scared to walk half a mile. I walked slowly down the trail taking photos and wishing dearly I could put more effort in to them.
Pretty little violets flanked the footpath. There were so many new sprouts shooting up, I know I'll have to come back here again soon to see what other flowers are blooming.
Mayapple leaves covered the woodland floor in areas but whichever direction I looked in the trilliums were everywhere, bright white flower heads thrusting their faces up to the light. I was very frustrated that I couldn't go further. I'd walked maybe a hundred yards and was anxious about walking back, especially as most of it was uphill. But this will be something to look forward to next year, a lovely 8 mile or so hike among the trilliums again and being able to enjoy them up closer. they're such a beautiful yet simple flower. They take a long time to bloom, 4-5 years, but the plants can live for decades, although they don't fare well if picked. There are several varieties that range from white to a dark pink, so next year I shall make a note of the ones I find. I had seen pinker and darker flowers but hadn't been able to get down to photograph them.
I went to the doctors today, giving up trying to battle against this illness on my own, and was glad I did. I have a virus, which I knew, but I had also developed a bacterial infection resulting in a fluid build up behind my left ear, the reason why I was feeling so dizzy. I've been given antibiotics and steroids and so shall be back to normal in a couple of days. Just in time for the weekend, hopefully!

No comments: