Monday, March 29, 2010

Yellow Spring

The yellows of spring are emerging. As Ken, at arts, birds, nature, has said, yellow is the true color of spring, offering the first glow of the season. 

Yesterday we went on our first outing with Zane, our foster dog, and Aria to the Exeter River. Aria kept pace, knowing that we'd eventually get to some water. She's been there before. Aria retrieved a stick from the water and as soon as she got back to shore Zane took it away. We repeated this a dozen times. Both enjoyed the game, we think.

Along the edge of the woods road that leads to the river grow silky dogwoods, willows, and other shrubs. One of the first plants to sport its spring yellows -- the willow -- was aglow. The pollen-bearing male flowers were open and ready to be pollinated by early bees and flies. A brisk wind kept all winged insects away.

Some flowers were just emerging from their covering of soft, silky hairs.  This "fur coat" keeps the flower parts warm in late winter and early spring until they are ready to open.

Perhaps the willow is a little premature in its opening. The sun is not forecast to shine again until Thursday. Another Nor'easter is barreling up the coast, the third of the season. We are bracing for heavy rains and high winds, again. Spring's glow is flickering just a bit.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ellen,
    Thank you so much for posting this image of the willows in flower. We live in Johannesburg South Africa, and my daughter came home from school today with a handful of seeds which look just like this. during supper she confessed that she had stuck one in her ear! given that it is after hours on a Friday night and she is not in any pain I didn't want to panic and so I called our family doctor who said she can take it out tomorrow morning and that I shouldn't be alarmed, but the hairiness of the seed was disturbing me as normally plant hairs are an irritant to the skin. so I started googling like a woman possessed for images of furry and silky and hairy seeds. your picture was the closest image to the seeds I have in front of me, and they led me thru a google of pussy willow and catkin Images, finally discovering that they are a catkin from a willow of sorts and that the catkin should be safe to stay in her ear overnight. no emergency room for us and a peaceful night's sleep. so thank you for your picture - it has helped someone in a way you NEVER thought it would when you posted it!
    Cheers, Angela