It is February 21. But while calendars and convention may proclaim that it's still winter, the flora and fauna know better. The tidal wave of spring's flora and fauna is in its gestation period, and visible diversity will only increase in the days to come. The early vanguards of spring are evident right now, especially birds. Migrant flocks of blackbirds are sweeping north, as are Killdeer and Turkey Vultures. Meadowlarks are conspicuously singing, and someone will soon hear singing Eastern Phoebes in southern Ohio.
And, the Skunk-cabbage is in bloom. I took this series of images today, in a local quagmire that sports hundreds of these odd arums.
I had a higher purpose for opening this spathe, other than just to showcase the true flowers for this post. Small flies and beetles are supposed to be the primary pollinators, and I've seen precious few (any?) really good photos of these bugs in action. So I parked my tripod-mounted Canon macro rig lasered in on the flowers, hoping for some action. Alas, nothing came in my short window of time in this bog, but someday I'll try this again.