March 11th - a bright sunny day at the Cloister with temperature climbing up toward 60. I was out hiking and ran across a dozen or more of the first blooms of a big white flower called Bloodroot, so named because of the blood-colored sap that oozes out and stains your skin if you break off a leaf.
I also spotted one of its pollinators, a very early butterfly with a stunning color display, by the name of the "Mourning Cloak" - Nymphalis antiopa.
All this stuff is going to get its arse froze off tomorrow (Saturday). Snow is in the forecast and the temperature is projected to reach single digits early Sunday morning up on the mountain ridge. These flowers are hardy and will probably bounce back just fine.
Meanwhile, I've decided what I'll use as my very specific definition of the Official, hermit-designated arrival of Spring at the Cloister at Three Creeks. Tune in to find out.