Abundant rain has turned parts of the woods into gentle bogs, where the Skunk Cabbages take sweeping bows after performing their magic trick of arising out of dark waters.

These are wildflower plants named after their reaction to being hurt: When their leaves are crushed, they emit a foul odor that wards off humans and many other mammals. But bees, butterflies, and other pollinators love them.

Some gardeners plant Skunk Cabbages at strategic points within their gardens to repel squirrels and raccoons and attract bees and butterflies.

We have the Eastern Skunk Cabbage, which emerges out of purple husks (spathes); the Western version grows out of yellow husks. (Brooklin, Maine)