Woodland Laughter

Woodland Laughter
“The world laughs in flowers.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Soon it will be time to go out in the field to enjoy the trilliums.  We have them in many of our forest preserves, but to really see rivers of them like this you must go to Daniel Wright Woods.  The land is low, a floodplain of the Des Plaines River.  Trilliums cover acres there, lapping at the feet of the trees. I think Mr. Emerson had it right, because every time I witness this I swear I can hear a deep chuckle all around me, and an answering laugh rises up from my heart.



  1. Nice. I can almost hear the trill of the trilliums—or it is the thrill? I do hope you’ll get to see the colony at Daniel Wright Woods.

    People have extracted “Earth laughs in flowers” from its context, and that excerpting gives almost the opposite meaning of the full poem, called “Hamatreya.” Here’s the relevant part:

    Earth laughs in flowers, to see her boastful boys
    Earth-proud, proud of the earth which is not theirs;
    Who steer the plough, but cannot steer their feet
    Clear of the grave.

    And here’s the full poem:



    1. Thank you Steve. I like that, the trill of trilliums. I hope I get to. So far our county trails are still open but our state parks are all closed. So much for Illinois Beach State Park. I’ve been wondering if I can find a way to sneak in…
      You taught me to check my sources better. Had I read the whole poem, I would not have chosen that quote. Ah, well.


      1. Quotations on the Internet are notoriously unreliable. In some cases, the person alleged to have said something didn’t say it. In other instances the author is right but the wording isn’t. And sometimes, as you saw in this case, not quoting enough of the original causes the meaning to change and even reverse.


    1. Thank you, Robert. I wonder, too. I hope so. You need a reward for getting through a difficult midwest winter.
      Sorry it took so long go respond. Paul is in the hospital~he had surgery yesterday to have a cancerous lesion on his kidney removed. It was a long day but everything is looking good. whew.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How glorious! The receding grouping of trillium is beautiful. This weekend, I saw a lot of toadflax, the trillium with variegated leaves and a simple reddish flower. These trillium (grandiflora?) will be on the way here soon, and lots more bloodroot.


  3. Oh! A river of trillium, any trillium, would be a thrill. This is a lovely trillium dream. I like the addition of the third tree in the midst of the flowers. So natural and I am sure most would be tempted to have the flowers command the entirety of the composition.


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