Our official kickoff to garlic mustard season (we did pick some a couple weeks back at Black Partridge) was also the treat that Paddock always is, with an assortment of wildflowers in bloom and full color. Beautiful!
Differences from site to site are amazing too. Paddock and McClaugrey Springs border one another, with a thin strip of Kean Avenue all that separates them. Yet the habitats differ, and we see plants at each site not typically found at the other. One thing they have in common this year is garlic mustard, and we found enough to keep us moving, but never so much to be disheartening.
McClaughrey Springs Woods Sunday May 7
One of the day's treats is the abundance of wild ginger seen here, rivaled in Palos only by Black Partridge. This low-growing, unassuming plant, with its fuzzy bashful flower, fascinates me.
We had a good crew on Sunday's garlic mustard hunt, including first-time Palos volunteers Lou and Melanie. We worked one side of Mill Creek, both along the bank and on the flats immediately above. We found enough garlic mustard to justify our efforts, but never in the large numbers we've seen in years past at McClaughrey.