Each year an amazing natural spectacle unfolds in the forest preserves of Will County.
Even while snow is still on the ground, plants that have been biding their time all winter long will push through the soil seeking sunlight and a new season of growth.
This dance has already begun with the odd looking skunk cabbage poking through the cold and ice. Harbinger of spring, a plant with delicate white flowers, was not far behind.
These are among the first wildflowers, or ephemerals, that will populate the preserves in different stages throughout spring and early summer.
The Forest Preserve District will be spying on these sprouts and posting photos to its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts throughout the season.
While exact dates for certain flowers to appear are hard to predict because of fluctuating weather, here is a quick rundown on what you can expect to see popping up during the next few months in the preserves of Will County: