Talbot County’s Buttercup Fields
If you had to choose a color to describe May in Talbot County, it would be hard to not choose yellow. The wild buttercups (ranunculus acris) cover every field that isn’t planted with cover crops. I drove across Delmarva a couple of times recently, and didn’t see much in the way of buttercup fields, till I got back to Talbot County…and then – wham. They’re everywhere. If you drive Rt. 33 out of St. Michaels, toward Tilghman Island, you’re sure to know this one:
This is the field surrounding the long lane leading to a Broad Creek property where the State troopers hide on a regular basis, nabbing their ticket quotas. I pulled in, got out of the car and just sat for a few minutes, watching the birds skim the field of bright gold. It was calming, watching the wind over the buttercups. And it won’t last long – one by one, fields are being turned for corn and beans, and in a few weeks, the buttercups will be a distant memory.
Along the sides of the road, they’ll persist for a while, till the Queen Anne lace takes over, with red clover, chicory, and the native rudbeckias. Until then, I’ll appreciate and celebrate the brilliance of Talbot County buttercups.