Despite days of driving rain and freezing nights, the Skunk Cabbages’ flower-containing spears (“Spathes”) are breaking through the ice-skimmed bog waters, bringing us some of the first Spring color.

Spathe 1.jpg

By summer, the Skunk Cabbage will be a regal, shade-producing canopy for smaller wildlife:

Spathe 2.jpg

The plant’s name is uncharitable, but descriptive; it has bad breath when it flowers or is bruised. But, that’s why the plant has survived for centuries: that odor is very pleasant to bees and other pollinators and obnoxious to larger animals that might crush it. (Brooklin, Maine)