Photo taken today near the Saylorville Reservoir Visitor Center.
Here's the deal:
I had placed a wildflower nature walk on my calendar for a few weeks. This morning, I read aloud from the Handbook of Nature Study before we left, stating that I would really like to see a trillium this year. That was my goal: to see a trillium. I had read about them for years, and listened to the kids read about them. I first saw trillium in Maquoketa, after I was over 30 years old. If I can find a photo of that first sighting, I will put up here.
When we got to the wildflower walk, and a senior citizen who volunteers at the Visitor Center spoke up a short ways from the trailhead. She pointed out the small bunch of trillium that you see here. My goal was attained within ten minutes.
Trilliums are ephemerals, like all the plants I'm spotlighting this season. Ephemeral suggests "a short time." These flowers are out for a couple days, then disappear for a year. You can find ephemerals for about two months, April and May, before the trees leaf out. So I was thrilled to see these. The sepals, petals, and leaves all appear in three's, so it is positively a trillium. But since they are not in bloom, I cannot positively say which kind of trillium it is.