We found some big patches of trout lily growing near the Appalachian Trail in Grafton Notch yesterday. These flowers take 7 years to bloom and the patches can be up to 300 years old. Their seeds have a special little tasty treat for ants attached to them. So the ants take the seeds to their babies and feed the special food to them and then, ants being a clean and organized animal, they take the rest of the seed to their designated trash heap. And the trash heap is the perfect fertilizer for new trout lilies to grow out of. This reminds me of a concept I've been pondering lately - how the dark, negative experiences of our lives can be metaphorically thrown onto a compost pile (once we've learned the lessons and important parts - the tasty treat) and from this rich, hard-earned fertilizer new and sweet and positive and beautiful things can grow.
Photo: "Trout Lily", Grafton Township, Maine by Becky Robbins.