I had the good fortune of being called out on a short hike this evening to harvest nettles (yes, they are actually delicious.) While the shady, wet area we visited had very few great bee plants, it did host some beautiful harbingers of spring, including this skunk cabbage, wood violets, spring beauties, and trillium. Try as I might, I was unable to find a skunk cabbage with resting pollinators in it. (They reportedly give off heat and provide shelter for insects in cold, wet spells.) Also blooming through the rain are dandelions, flowering quince, Hall’s hardy almond, and daffodils. The big leaf maples have broken bud; our first big nectar flow is right around the corner!
The swampy grove was also home to a massive, solitary cottonwood tree. Cottonwoods provide potent propolis for bees later in the season. This one is just beginning to leaf out, and the air was filled with its honey-like fragrance.