May 2, 2015 – Fort Frederick State Park is bursting with color as many trees and wildflowers come into peak bloom against a backdrop of blue mountains.
Beneath the trees, mayapples have their green umbrellas, protecting soil and tiny creatures from heavy rains.
Miniature leaves now cover many trees, including maples and tulip poplars.
Dogwood bloom is at its peak, lighting up the woods with showy white bracts.
The beaver pond is the color of emeralds, a reflection of the new growth surrounding it and patches of green algae.
Spatterdock or yellow pond lilies are sending up leaves from the pond’s bottom, and many are now visible above the water.
Virginia Bluebells color the forest floor along the Beaver Pond trail and a nearby trail leading to the Potomac River.
Songbirds are still easy to spot in the landscape, although that won’t be true for long. Yellow goldfinches perch above while blue buntings and Brown Thrashers rummage through short grass for food.
Numerous downed trees are home to fungi, mosses and even tree seedlings. Some, with holes created by woodpeckers in their standing days, provide refuge to small ground-dwelling animals.
In the forest, everything has a place and purpose, and death is merely a transition.