Thursday, March 18, 2010

More From Today.

OK... first thing's first. Today is ICE OFF day! This morning there was still a largish mass floating, but strong winds broke it up. There are some ice-cube sized chunks that have floated over to the edge, and were making a clinking sound as they were pushed together in the wavelets. It sounded like nature was throwing a cocktail party to celebrate spring! (You know, before it snows again.)
The sexually precocious American Hazels have begun to display their bright pink female flowers. (Many shrubs have none yet, but several have branches adorned with these almost impossibly small but beautifully colored flowers.) Alders are also girl-flowering (in addition to the male flowers noted earlier) now, but I didn't get a picture of them.

I have discovered, by the way, that if I carry a white index card with me, I can slip it behind small subjects and it makes it a lot easier to get the auto-focus to focus on the proper thing. I recognize that the sacrifice here is the artfulness of the photos, but sometimes, the goal is scientific documentation. Especially when I have 20+ kids waiting for me and not understanding why I am stopping to take a picture of something random like a bud when they are studying something totally different like birds, for example. So the boring backgrounds aren't necessarily my first choice, but they serve their function.

Many buds are swelling up and showing peeks of green between their scales. Not that many species, but enough that it's starting to be exciting out there...
shown above, Linden, serviceberry, and weeping willow (with catkins showing).
And more from the baby plant front, here are prairie smoke flower buds (left) and baby bergamots, in the shadow of Naomi (right).

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