Green up is well on it’s way around here. The tree canopy is closing up and the forest is smelling new and fresh. Looking north across the lake at Green Timbers Park, you can see the different hues in the leaves of alder and cottonwood trees.
Most days you can hear the blackbirds calling in the marsh in the foreground. Oh yes, and the fishermen are lined up along the banks to the right and left of me as I took this shot.
Well, after being laid low by a
n old war injury er…a back muscle spasm for a few days last week, and a quick Easter trip over to Vancouver Island, I finally got back to Green Timbers Park again.
I was particularly interested in how the Lily of the Valley was doing. Its small flower spikes have been present for some time, and the canopy above them is starting to close up with alder and cottonwood leaves. I was worried that I had missed the flowers, but no so. They are clearly on the verge of opening up, but, as luck would have it, it looks like they’ll need a few more days.
With the warmer temperatures lately, the northern black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) leaves are just starting to unfold. In the next few of weeks, their aroma will fill the air, followed by fluffy balls of their seed floating everywhere.
The cottonwood has quite a distinctive, fresh aroma, and for anyone living in valley bottoms, it’s a true confirmation of spring. It doesn’t get much better than sitting on the bank of a rushing river or stream with the smell of fresh green leaves in the air.
Boy, this little spring exercise in natural history has shown me how much biology I’ve forgotten. For 20+ years, I followed the nature quite closely, as the work was tied to the biology of plants and bugs. With more recent careers, not so much.
Nowadays, I have to dig a little deeper for the info I’m looking for. Truly a use it or lose it kind of thing, I guess. This spring has been a good reminder.
There are sections of the trail around Green Timbers Lake where the forest floor is covered by what I believe are Wild Lily of the Valley (with the ungodly name of Maianthemum dilatatum).
The flower buds are just starting to spike, and with the warm weather forecast for the next few days, I’m hoping for some serious blooming going on.
It should be quite a show.
Today there were a few Western Trillium (Trillium ovatum) blooming on the forest floor at Green Timbers Park in SurreyBC. I thought the Lily of the Valley would be first, but these Trillium surprised me. Pleasantly.
Beautiful little flowers, grabbing as much sun as they can before the canopy fills in overhead.
As the days warm up, the flowers on tall Mahonia (Berberis spp.) shrubs are just starting to open up. They’ll progress into purple berries that are edible when ripe and touched by frost.
I noticed this little community on top of a stump in the forest. The dying leaves and the fungi on a rotting stump, along with moss and a young plant seemed to cover off a lot of the cycle of life in the forest.
Boy, just a few days ago, I posted about the first day of spring with a photo of indian plum flower buds on a branch. I was in the same park on Thursday, and the flowers had bloomed and were starting to fade.
Just 7 days and they’re done.
Never let anyone tell you that you have all the time in the world. (my pensive share for the day 😉
Not sure what’s going on here, but going over a bridge in Bear Creek Park today, I looked over and saw this.
Quite disconcerting, actually.
Was it art? Was it some vandals getting rid of some stuff?
Whatever it was, it looks like it was placed in just that spot, looking up angrily at anyone who peered into the stream from above.
Ah, one of life’s little mysteries….
I’ve seen pussy willows in the spring before, but this is the first time I’ve seen pollen buds associated with them. In the two photos below, you can see some that are yet to release and some where the pollen has already taken flight.