My family dedicates an entire weekend to a walkabout in our woodlands each spring. The timing of the retreat is not left to chance. We mark it on the calendar far in advance and decline all invitations and events for that weekend. We do this to celebrate spring's arrival, disconnect from the world for a bit and reconnect as a family.

We also have individual ulterior motives. My kids are often looking for critters and miscellaneous woodland treasures, my husband has his eye out for morel mushrooms and I am always distracted by the spring ephemerals. These early-to-bloom plants are such a welcome sign of spring and serve an important ecological role.

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