Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring 4: Animals can "spring," too!

My free period today was at 1pm--late enough, I decided, for the weather to be warm--so I ventured out in shirtsleeves, learning too late that the temperature was in the forties.  I walked almost entirely around the school, looking for new things, catching up with old.  Wandering in a little clearing, I was startled by the sudden crashing of a large animal through the woods a dozen yards away.  The poor thing--a deer, I assume--was as taken aback by my presence as I was by its.  In its haste it knocked down a little rotten tree, bounded across a path (a barely-seen blur of brown), and then splashed clumsily through a series of little vernal ponds.  No photo, of course.  

Certainly deer do pass through parts of Brockton and may even live in the wilder parts, but I somehow never imagined seeing one at school.  Probably because I am seldom there without a few dozen kids accompanying me.  

This rotted old birch tree made a lot of noise when the deer knocked it over.

The male flower are beginning to fall from some trees; their lives are nearly over.
This image is clear enough for you to see a little of the history of this tree: 
 three seasons of growth, marked not only by changes in the color of the twig segments,
but also scars encircling the twig where it ended the summer before.
(Such a scar is clear between the buds just left of the flowers.)

I thought this was another alder, but the fuzzy male catkins now whisper, "willow."

This oak's buds have barely expanded yet.

The rose leaves are becoming big enough to be recognizable.

The velvet leaves of this common mullein (Verbascum thapsis) 
were probably already growing when there was still snow on the ground.

A couple of mystery plants; I'll probably be able to identify them in a few weeks.

I tend to ignore cultivated plants, but my wife's beloved lilacs are well along.

This pignut hickory is one of the trees I'm keeping a "professional" eye on
for the Nature's Notebook project of the National Phrenology Network.

No comments:

Post a Comment