Still Learning To See

Headlong into Spring

The catkins, male flowers, of Alder (Alnus) have burst forth this week and will probably be ripe by week's end or next week.

I too often use the word “unbelievable.” Today proves I should have reserved it only for special occasions. The temperature in the sun was in the 70s, too warm for even moderate clothing and too warm for all but the north-facing patches of snow. Rivers are up and every living creature that depends on the sun’s energy—in short, all of us—is revving up fast.

The Marginal Woodfern (Dryopteris marginalis) was green when I last saw it in early winter and remains green now even in the melting snow. The plant is using the sun's energy.

A few days ago I brought inside a bouquet of Witch Hazel (Hamamelis), one of the earliest blooming plants native to the area. As I focused on the blooms, I noticed a small, wasp-like insect (remember I’m inside!) feeding on the nectar. What a delightful surprise.

This wasp is covered in pollen from one of the early blooming plants, Witch Hazel (Hamamelis)!

While I admit I am enjoying the weather, like many, it also scares me. In the short run it could be excused as just a warm day in March. In the longer run it is clearly not what the planet had in mind for our species

Tracks of Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) had been feasting on the litter of tree seeds covering the snow. Many residual leaves of American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) are still on the trees but a few left in the snow have begun to "go back" to the soil.

This entry was published on March 13, 2012 at 6:14 pm and is filed under Ferns, Flowers, Leaves, Snow, Spring, Uncategorized, Winter. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

8 thoughts on “Headlong into Spring

  1. Rob Spring on said:


    Congratulations. I enjoy reading your daily blog, but not nearly as much as hiking over hill and dale with you in search of what nature has to reveal to us.

  2. Elizabeth on said:

    Beautiful and revelatory!

  3. susan on said:

    John these are just amazing! What a treat you bring into my way too busy day to stop and notice!

  4. Where did you see that beautiful witch hazel shrub?

  5. ignoring for the moment the great quality of your pictures, i am so happy with the reminder they bring to take the time to open again MY eyes and see the grand show. Keep it up but don’t get seduced into making records- could be a distraction. Thank you..

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