Thursday, February 16, 2017

A hint of pink

The snow is gone. Rain pounded down all day yesterday, cleaning the streets, the lawn, my steep, slippery driveway (Yay!). All that is left are the mounds of muddy snow in the corners of store parking lots and beside the driveways of neighbours more ambitious than I was.

Before the end, though, I shuffled through boot-top snow to the tip of Baikie Island.

Someone had made a trail here, too. Much appreciated.

At this time of year, the bare alders seem to take on a pinkish tinge towards the tips of the trees; a slight hint of redness against the insipid browns of the winter bush. Looking closely at a branch, I can see why.

Red alder, Alnus rubra. The long, greenish-yellow catkins appear before the leaves do; male catkins have a touch of red now, and will be quite red when they mature. The dark brown cones are last year's fruit.

Look at the very tips of the branches. See the new leaf buds appearing? They all have that bit of red, too.

Another branch, with cones, new catkins, and the pinkish leaf buds.

At this time of year, when the landscape is painted in grey, grey-brown, grey-blue, and grey-green, this glimmer of warmer colours is welcome. Summer is coming, believe it or not, it tells us.

1 comment:

  1. And the hazel catkins are starting to expand!

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