It's always a great time to walk in the wetlands, but the last part of April may be the best time of all. There are, of course, no mosquitoes out and about to plague the hiker, and, along the edges of many streams and swampy areas, there's one of the prettiest wildflowers in Creation starting to bloom. This would be the Marsh Marigold, Caltha palustris. It's not, to be sure, a genuine marigold, but, as becomes obvious when it's in its full, shiny yellow glory, the plant is clearly a cousin of the Buttercup. It also goes by a bewildering number of common names, from the one we call it around here to these: kingcup, brave bassinets, crazy Beth, horse blob, May blob, mare blob, water boots, meadow-bright, water cowslip, and publicans-and-sinners, to show a handful I found mentioned on the Wikipedia entry for C. palustris. I'm sure an enjoyable day could be spent tracking down the origin and development of these monikers, but, by any name, this is a flower to enjoy in the, um, "flesh"—a sunny treasure for winter-weary eyes.