wild bleeding heart
owning too many things makes me feel heavy and weighted down, and lingering messiness in my environment leads to a feeling of messiness inside my own head. i like the promise and possibilities of an empty shelf and a clean table top, and as a result, i do regular clutter clearing sweeps throughout my home. however, i had never done that outside, in the three acre woodland that surrounds us until several weekends ago. i had convinced myself that letting nature be herself was the best way to manage the woods. let her be wild, i thought. but instead what gradually happened was an invasion of nonnative and aggressive understory plants (think European buckthorn, raspberries, blackberries) who performed a slow-motion land grab, and then claimed squatters’ rights. so with time on my hands, thanks to shelter-in-place, i decided to clutter-clear our woods. i of all people should not have been surprised at the result, but all i have to say is wow. steve and i are daily discovering little deposits of native plants that had been buried by the invaders and are now lifting their heads, wondering if it’s safe to come out again. just this week we discovered: wild ginger, trout lily, bloodroot, trilium, hepatica, jack-in-the-pulpit, may apple, two kinds of anemones, wild geranium, gooseberries, and marsh marigold. these dutchman’s breeches (aka wild bleeding heart), were the prize find. i had always wanted to see this plant, and never new i had it, quite literally, in my backyard. i am currently scanning the horizon for more patches of buckthorn. they’d better watch out.
dutchman’s breeches flowers and leaves (Dicentra cucullaria)