That night the swampy woods were loud with the throaty piping of the spring peepers and the. calling of the woodcocks. Everywhere - by dozens, by hundreds, the tiny brown frogs hidden in the shallows shrilled their urgent song, Spring! Spring! Spring!
Caltha palustris L.
Now as the sun comes into the swampy woods, the light shines upon hundreds of gleaming marsh-marigolds - among them the peepers were loud all night. The sun is reflected now from the polished golden petals,. strikes highlights in the curve of each flower cup, sparkles on the tight clusters of massed golden stamens in the center of each flower, illuminates the thick, heart-shaped, leathery leaves which stand in tufts with the skunk cabbages in wet places.
Spring takes form among the blossoming marsh-marigolds, as surely here in the northern half of Illinois as it does in the white trout lilies further south, and in all the bright rosettes of dandelions everywhere. The marigolds are like elegant buttercups; stout of stem, thick of leaf, massive of flower, they are the best of the buttercup line, with a special metallic glint on the petals, a special sheen which catches the sunlight until it actually sparkles there in the April swamp.
Cowslips, many people call them. The young shoots are used for greens in some parts of the country. But as a part of the landscape, the marsh-marigolds need both their sparkling name and their sparkling flowers, and their glossy leaves beneath which innumerable small brown frogs wait until dusk to resume their concert of the spring.