nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

spring wildflowers – Trout Lily

with 5 comments


On a drive to Sussex yesterday, we found Trout Lily blooming in many ditches along the back roads.

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Trout Lily is an herbaceous colonial plant, covering slopes in rich, moist hardwoods. The plant is also known as Dog’s Tooth Violet, Yellow Adder’s-tongue, Fawn-lily, and in French, ail doux. The yellow lily-like flowers bloom in New Brunswick in May. The leaves are mottled in maroon and green. The young leaves and bulb-like ‘corm’ are edible but should only be gathered if the plants are abundant, to conserve the species.

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trout lily

(Erythronium americanum Ker)

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On a hike in the hardwood

north of the Dunbar Stream

you discover Trout Lily profusion

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Mottled purple leaves overlap

as the scales of adder or dragon

You know these plants as edible

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the leaves a salad, or pot-herb

and, deep underground, the corm

flavoured like garlic

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You fall to your knees

to dig, to gather, and

hesitate

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examine your motives

You, with two granola bars in your knapsack

and a bottle of water from Ontario

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(published as ‘trout lily’ in “within easy reach“, 2016, Chapel Street Editions)

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

5 Responses

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  1. This is lovely, Jane. The photography, your knowledge of the species, your art work, all combine with your poetry to make this a feast for the various senses. You are a great artist.

    Liked by 1 person

    rogermoorepoet

    May 14, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    • Hi Roger. Totally artist today as I am painting the Stand-up aliens for my book launch! Thanks for the compliment! Congrats on the St. Andrews appointment! You will have so much fun. I love starting a new project and yours is awesome! Jane

      Liked by 1 person

      jane tims

      May 14, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      • Thanks, Jane. I’m tied up in knots at the moment. Too much happening. I’ll tell you all about it when we meet.

        Liked by 1 person

        rogermoorepoet

        May 14, 2017 at 4:41 pm

  2. Love your drawing, the poem, and your book (“within easy reach“), Jane. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Robin

    May 14, 2017 at 3:56 pm


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