Searching for Skunk Cabbage, Finding Feathers

This weekend I set off on a little quest to find skunk cabbage. Any plant that can produce its own heat is worth a look, I think. Since the kids didn’t share my enthusiasm for stinky plants with thermogenesis, I got to take a solo hike.


Ice edged Wildlife Pond, but it didn’t seem to bother the Canada Geese.

I wasn’t sure where (or whether) skunk cabbage existed in Claude Moore Park. I had a vague recollection of seeing some near what is now the south entrance of the park, but that was many years ago, when long-departed beavers had dammed the stream. To me, the wetter areas near the ponds seemed a likely place to start.

Of course, I had to keep stopping because I was distracted by all the other plants.


I find their different forms and textures fascinating.



And I am quite enamored with my new macro lens. I can’t wait to start finding spring blooms. Or skunk cabbage.

Continuing around the pond, I happened upon a spot where I believe a goose met its demise, perhaps due to the resident coyotes.



The feathered area was about as large as I was, and the feathers were soft and perfect.

A family emergency called me home before I’d even made it around the pond, so I never did find the skunk cabbage, but on my way back to the car I saw these square berries.


Readers, do you have any idea what these could be? My online searching yielded no useful information.

At any rate, I’m glad I got out by myself for a bit.

About rbpepper

Rebecca is an artist, writer, and photographer with degrees in Theater and Social Work, and is currently a Stay at Home Mom to her three kids. Some part of her house is always a mess, she lets her kids paint on the table and design their own costumes, and she makes excellent allergen-free cookies. She lives with her equally creative husband and children in a part of Virginia known for being "pretty close to Dulles Airport", and dreams of moving to an old farmhouse in New England.
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9 Responses to Searching for Skunk Cabbage, Finding Feathers

  1. Mark Hartman says:

    Ludwigia alternifolia also known as “seedbox” (appropriately)… it is a common wetland plant around here.

  2. Mark Hartman says:

    I know a spot along 29 around Warrenton, but it isn’t accessible (private property). I’ll ask around and do some looking on my own.

  3. Dad Breed says:

    Try asking Fr. Rob. He walks around a lot down near Algonkian and Horsepen Run. He may have seen some on his walks.

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