Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Walking to Allen Centennial Gardens from Picnic Point on a sunny day in mid-March
It wasn't exactly balmy Sunday afternoon, but it was sunny and the temperature was pleasant. A great day for a walk, finally. We walked from Picnic Point to Allen Centennial Gardens on the UW-Madison campus, where even the flagstones spoke of the changing seasons.
We walked along the white expanse of Lake Mendota, still frozen solid and a reminder of the long, hard winter that's about to draw to a close. Along the way we spotted different kinds of creatures entranced by the first signs of open water along the shore at points where warmer water flowed into the lake.
There was still a lot of snow on the ground at Allen Gardens, but, here and there, the first green signs of spring were starting to push through the moist earth. They included these early bloomers, the flowers called Garden Snowdrops. They're known for their early arrival, and can bloom weeks before crocuses do. Also, snowdrops (like other members of the Amaryllis family) are normally avoided by deer and rodents.