Got into the 80’s this week. It is now reliably warm enough for the snakes to come out and amuse house cats by laying across the front porch. And an amused house cat is unlikely to misbehave, so in general this can be considered a good thing.
In case you’re wondering, they are black racers. Harmless, but seem to be more aware of people than most snakes, so you may hear about them chasing you down. They don’t. They will half stand up and take a good look at you though.
Bluets, Houstonia ssp, are still in bloom all along the trails. They are blue, tiny, like the damp, seem to enjoy growing in the middle of a trail in an attractive clump of moss and are honestly about the cutest little thing you’ll ever see. There lots of different bluets; 78 species worldwide according to one count, three in North Carolina according to the North Carolina Native Plant Society. The bigger of the ones I find are Houstonia caerulea, which you can know due to the yellow middles. These are listed as “azure bluets” as a common name, as is “innocence” and “quaker ladies”, but the different species are so similar that the need for a particular common name for this flower seems a bit unnecessary. There is another bluet, about half the size, without a yellow center and a darker, more purply blue, but I don’t know which one that is. They also seem to like the sun a bit more than H. cerulea. So, just call ’em all bluets, and if you need to talk about a particular one, use the latin.