Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Signs of Spring

Several noteworthy things happened while we were without power for five days -- an earthquake in Chile, the Olympics concluded with Canada winning the gold medal in women's and men's hockey, and Spring peeked out from winter's grasp.

Yesterday, under a blue sky and warm sun, signs of spring emerged. A flock of 15 to 20 grackles, squawking and foraging, moved through the woods. Frisky chipmunks chased each other down stone walls and around the base of trees. White-breasted nuthatches fluttered their wings in territorial defense. The buds swelled on a small quaking aspen tree felled in the storm.

The quaking aspen belongs to the willow family -- Salicaceae, hence the resemblance of the buds to pussy willows. Female and male flowers are typically borne on different trees. As the days continue to warm, the buds will elongate into catkins. Male catkins are pale yellow and full of pollen. Female catkins are greenish and lack pollen.

Our morning walk today was notable for its silence. The generators are unplugged, finished with their work until the next storm.

1 comment:

  1. So why do you get the birds and the buds and I still have a three foot snow pack? HUH? I'm SO jealous!