Forest Hill Park nature walk is April 17
April is the time to see spring flowers in Forest Hill Park. In wide circles under the big oak trees in the Great Meadow ephemeral treasures like spring beauties (Claytonia virginiana - purslane family) grow and briefly flower. In moist woodlands beside the paths grow May-apples (Podophyllum pellatum - mandrake family... a word which brings to mind these opening lines of the metaphysical poet John Donne: "Go and catch a falling star, Get with child a mandrake root;" a lovely opening to a slight three stanza poem that ends misogenistically).
It is also time to think about invaisive species, and one that will be readily identifiable in mid-April is garlic mustard, a plant that came to this country as a pot herb. It has spread widely throughout our northeast Ohio woods. Garlic mustard is easily recognizable but could initially be mistaken for two leaved toothwort (Dentaria - in the mustard family), whose ecological nich it overtakes, with wide spread consequences, as toothwort is the host plant for the West Virgina White Butterfly.
Take a walk in the park and learn to identify native wildflowers like spring beauties and toothwort, and invaisive uspurpers like garlic mustard--and pull a few garlic mustard plants while your are at it.
Where: Forest Hill Park
When: Sunday, April 17
Time: 3 p.m.
For more information e-mail Elsa Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elsa Johnson is a volunteer at Forest Hill Park.