Warming Up to Spring

February 6, 2019
skunk cabbage

I've been intending to get out there and paint what I see as it gets warmer, but there just isn't much out there yet. Wet, brown grass, the old lavender stalks we never trimmed in fall, pine trees, and bittersweet. I don't care if it's pretty, I'm not painting bittersweet, because I'm convinced it wants to eat my yard and my house and me alive and I just don't like that. 

So that doesn't leave much yet, but thank god it's Skunk Cabbage to the rescue! And what better plant to start off with than something that literally heats itself out of the snow? 

Skunk cabbage is one of the first plants you'll see in Spring here in New England, especially if you have any moist, boggy areas near you. You'll see the liverish-colored protective buds shooting up through the snow before most other plants, because it won't take no for an answer--it produces it's own heat (60 degrees!)  and melts its way through that white crap. Who needs Spring when you can make it yourself? Eventually you'll see the yellow clump of complex flowers and then all the cabbagey leaves.

Of course, it gets its name because it smells like skunk. Or decaying  flesh. Or both. I guess when you smell that bad it hardly matters.