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Word of the Week: Ephemeral
March 21, 2018 by Sammy Tangir

Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each Wednesday to amp up your nature vocabulary!

(Left to right) Trout Lilies (Erythronium americanum), Trilliums (Trillium sp.), and Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) are called spring ephemerals because they only flower in early spring. They live on the floor of deciduous forests, develop, and flower in a short window of time, only to disappear when the leaves on the trees come out and shade the forest floor.

Ephemeral [ih-FEM-er-uhl] (adjective): Lasting for a short time, just here for a moment, a month, a week, a day

We can use this word to describe our own lives, as well as habitats and plants. Spring time is when we use this word most, to describe habitats like vernal (spring) ponds that might only exist after spring snow melt and harbour so much life! The first warm and rainy spring night is when the Spotted Salamander* and Eastern Newt* migrate to vernal ponds and wetlands to breed. 

Don’t miss out on ephemeral habitats and plants around High Park and in Toronto this Spring!

*While not found in High Park, these species can be found in Toronto.

Sammy Tangir - Sammy is a serious nature nerd and especially enthusiastic about plants! When she is not thinking of next week's nature word, she is working as an outdoor educator and practicing her wood carving skills.

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