In the springtime, the moment when these tiny insects transform from their nymphal form and swim to the surface of the stream is indeed magic to the trout fisherman. As they struggle upwards, to flutter away, they are called emergers. This is the time for "wet flies" to be cast into the stream and lifted in imitation of the real thing. It is what I am thinking of, in the winter season, as I tie my own imitations of them.
This is the same time when other "emergers" appear on the spring scene. I hunt for them with my camera and companion dog. Here are a few:
The Showy Orchis. A now rare native orchid of hardwood forests here in Minnesota. Thick basal leaves and small spurred flowers. The lip is white. Other petals and sepals are pink or magenta. About 6 inches tall. Photo taken in Forestville State Park 5/12/08.
Another emerger is the skunk cabbage. It is found along stream margins and on hillsides in seepage areas. One of the earliest plants to appear in the spring. Yes, the fruit has a definite smell to it! Photos Forestville Park/April 2010Appearing from the forest litter on a ridge high above the Whitewater Valley in Whitewater State Park is an early blooming native Pasque Flower. It is a rare member of the crocus family.
These and many other spring woodland flowers are considered "ephemerals" meaning they emerge and bloom quickly before the forest canopy shades them from the sunlight.
Emergers. You gotta love them as we step out from our winter blahs as well.