Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring has Sprung

Ok, officially, Spring arrives on March 20 this year but I have observed several things that tell me it is already here.

Silver Maple is in full bloom. This isn’t a very showy bloom but it means a lot to honeybees who are looking for their first sips of nectar and loads of pollen. Red maples were not far behind. You can easily see the swollen, red buds on this common tree. These species bloomed even before Cornus mas, the Cornelian Cherry Dogwood, which is an early bloomer. In fact, I saw a stunning specimen of this tree on the edge of Morris Arboretum yesterday. Blazing yellow. Just drive a few miles south to Philly if you want to get a preview of what is in store for us in the northern suburbs.

The first summer annual weeds have germinated, too. Prostrate knotweed, which is one of the first to emerge has taken advantage of the micro-climate along the stone pathway leading to our office and has sprouted. By contrast, the winter annual weeds, which began growth last fall, are already beginning to bloom. Purple deadnettle, common chickweed and bittercress are flowering in warm, sheltered areas. These species will form seeds later this spring and then naturally die. The seed that they drop will wait patiently until fall when the cycle begins again. Ain’t Nature wonderful?

I am not much of a bird watcher so I’ll leave it to others to announce the bird signs of spring. I did happen along a lovesick wild turkey last week… dancing in the middle of a rural road.

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