Skunk cabbage

Skunk_cabbage_cropped_web-ready_025


I wrote a blog not long ago about how warm the winter and early spring have been here in southern New England, and how all the plants are confused and blooming out of season. 

 

 

It was an apocalyptic screed, and I wanted to write something more mellow to counter it.

 

 

Early flowers are not entirely a bad thing.  They are lovely. Right now, in early spring, the magnolias are blooming on the Brown campus.  The azaleas are blooming near my office building!  I’ve seen dandelions in bloom!  And there’s something in the grass outside our apartment that looks almost like carpet bugle, with tiny purple blossoms, but much smaller.

 

 

All this in early spring.

 

 

(Ahem.  Global warming / climate change / apocalypse. Ahem.)

 

 

The other day we were driving through rural Connecticut (to go to Foxwoods – why else would we be driving through rural Connecticut?), and I was watching the drab early-spring scenery rush by.  And I saw, in a low unruly-looking place among trees, skunk cabbage coming up!

 

 

It took me back.  I don’t know if East Coast skunk cabbage is the same as the West Coast variety I used to see in Washington state, but it looks exactly the same.  Those big shiny green leaves!  Those big juicy yellow flowers that smell like rotting meat!

 

 

That, my friends, is the nasty sulfurous aroma of rebirth.

 

 

Welcome, Connecticut skunk cabbage.  We’re very glad to see you. 

 

 

You’re the real herald of spring.


 

 

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About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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