Monday, April 14, 2014

Enjoy Spring With Me

At long last, after weeks of getting ready, things are popping out all over.  I had been watching the red maple buds redden and expand, then I was distracted for a few days.  Today they are all in full bloom.  I shouldn't have blinked!  I walked around at the high school for awhile today, discovering alder flowers blowing in the wind.  The buds of the Norway maples are huge: they, too, will bloom in a few days time.  In the coming days, I plan to keep up with the changes as best I can.  

Long catkins blowing like flags from this alder are clusters of male flowers.
They are shedding pollen to be carried by wind to female flowers.
(Male and female flowers are borne on the same tree, though they generally cross with other trees.)

Very windy day today.

Cluster of red maple male flowers, showing the long, yellowish stamens that produce the pollen.

Female red maple flowers; the stigmas that dangle like antennae will receive the wind-blown pollen.
Their flowers are small but many, making red maples easy to pick out beside the highway right now.

Red maples in the wind.

We love the small willows that are nicknamed "pussy willows."

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