This spring beauty sprout is beginning to turn green, which means that the chlorophyll is starting to develop in the leaves. Unlike the one shown below, this one was growing in a warmer spot that no longer had any snow. It was on a flat surface of forest rather than a north-facing slope and higher up toward the top of a hill. This shot shows the buds, still well under-developed along the underneath side of the stem. If you look at hundreds or thousands of spring beauty sprouts as they emerge and shortly after, you will see that they always come up with this up-side down U shape and their buds are always protected on the underside of the stem. Pushing through the frozen dirt (and snow) takes a lot of effort and the plant keeps the buds safe by placing them in this relatively protected location. See the entry below for more information on spring beauties.