Bernheim was very active today! The many different flowering species of magnolias and fruit trees were humming with pollinators, mostly bees. Birds were singing and calling to each other, and some were showing mating displays. Wildflowers were springing forth. Oh, and lots of humans and dogs were celebrating the warm and sunny day.
I spotted many Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) flowers in full display, and will post some photos in the next few days. If you want to see them yourself, I'm sure they are in many forested locations throughout Bernheim. You may have to wander off trail a little (and tread gently, of course).
If you want to navigate to the spots I did, walk to the southwest meadow off Lake Nevin, to the west of the Cypress Tupelo Swamp. As you walk in the mowed area of this small meadow, before you take your first right turn heading north, veer off into the forest. You'll see some downed branches, and there will be the smiling, white, diminuitive faces of the Bloodroot flowers.
Also, I saw two tiny (about 1/2") green "helmets" of the first Mayapple sprouts. These are such magical plants. Their colonies will soon be blanketing the forest floor.
The beavers are active, too. We were happy to come upon Nancy (a fellow NIT), who was soaking up the sun and being her highly observant self. She was studying the Cypress Tupelo Swamp and pointed out a lot of small branches -- approximately 1/3" in diameter and averaging 2.5-3' long -- that had clear teeth marks. Several branches had been debarked and were white. A tried and true whittler couldn't have done a better job of stripping the bark.
What a wonderfully restorative day.