Monday, March 21, 2011

Tour de Spring

This time of year, I have a little route that I walk to check on the trees/shrubs that I know are going to do things soon. Today was an eventful day on my tour de spring. Before I even got to my first tree, I heard the distinctive, comb-plucking sound of chorus frogs chorusing. Yea! Froggies!

The silver maple (above) was flowering. They flower from the top down, and it was over the weekend I noticed the top flowers in bloom, but I can't reach those to photograph, or even confirm. But by today, the lower buds had started to open, as well.
Then I check the American hazels, whose girl-flowers are so tiny most people would never notice them. (Notice the size of my fingers behind them). Their bright pink color is a treat, though, if you're one of the folks inclined to look closely. They were just starting today, only some of them... and the catkins aren't even swelling at all yet.

Finally, I check the alders, which have excitement in both the girl-flower and the boy-flower world. The catkins, as you can see to the left, are even greener than last week, and left a chartreuse pollen print on my brown jacket... though they're not yet pollen-y enough to make yellow clouds when tapped.
And the tiny pink female flowers, the future cones, have also changed since last week. (Oh, the trees, they are a-changin'... never mind, I shouldn't have gone there.)

My add-on at 5:00 pm...
In the bird world, I saw buffleheads... which is the best duck name ever... and possibly some other diving ducks that were too far away to ID (but, they could have been more buffles). Had to pull a crazy driving maneuver and get out of the car to get pictures. And this is the pair of birds that are apparently nesting in my neighbor's house. Which I think is totally awesome, but only because it isn't my house. I probably shouldn't have posted a picture of someone else's house, but it's so cute, and it's not like you can tell the address, and I'm pretty sure they don't read my blog. Bird nerds, please ID the birdies for me!

I love it, every day something new!!! Finally! (Although I hear that tomorrow's new development may be wintry weather, too bad after a lovely today!)

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