Cbaile19, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Hey there, Creation Explorer!
Here in Northern Kentucky, it’s spring! Now, in this part of the country that means it’s shorts and flip-flops weather one day and coats and mittens the next. But God has designed certain plants to thrive during this warm-then-cold-again season, particularly the spring ephemerals.
What are spring ephemerals? They are plants that appear in the spring, quickly flower and go to seed, and then go dormant (basically go to sleep) until the next spring when they’ll pop up again. Many woodland plant species are ephemerals because once the canopy forms (the leaves on the tops of the trees), there isn’t enough light for them to photosynthesize. So they need to go through their entire life cycle before the trees leaf out.
A few examples include my favorite, Virginia bluebells, and my other favorite, Dutchman’s breeches (that’s the flower that looks like a pair of pants hanging upside down!). Oh and another favorite—spring beauties (I have a lot of favorites!).
These spring ephemerals are important for our native pollinators, providing food for hungry bees that have just awakened from a winter’s slumber.
We recently went on an adventure to a local park, Middle Creek Park in Burlington, Kentucky, to search for spring ephemerals and wildflowers. And we hit the jackpot! The entire woodland area at the park was a carpet of one winter annual called blue-eyed Mary. And sprinkled throughout this carpet were a few other wildflowers, including wild hyacinth, Dutchman’s breeches, phlox, Virginia bluebells, buttercups, yellow violets, and more.
If you live in the Northern Kentucky area or are here to visit the Ark Encounter or Creation Museum in the mid- to late-spring, be sure to visit Middle Creek Park—it’s definitely worth it! But no matter where you live, you can get out for a walk and look for spring wildflowers (or plant some in the fall in your own garden to enjoy their beauty and to help the pollinators in the spring).
God’s creation is incredible! Yes, it’s marred and broken by sin, but even in its current groaning state, there’s so much beauty put here by our Creator God to give glory to him and to provide enjoyment for us. Seeing the wonderful things he has made should cause us to burst out in praise.
Well, we’re off on another adventure. Until next time, let’s cry out like the psalmist, “O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all....I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being” (Psalm 104:24, 33).
P.S. If you find a wildflower that becomes your favorite, we’d love to hear about it! Ask your parents to help you send us the name of what you found and why it’s your favorite at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love hearing from you!