Spring is Coming

How this spring of love resembleth

The uncertain glory of an April day,

Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,

And by and by a cloud takes all away!

 William Shakespeare

 Well-apparel’d April on the heel

Of limping Winter treads.

 William Shakespeare

 We always want Spring to unfold in an orderly crescendo, like slow motion pictures of an opening flower.  But Spring is, by turns, obstinate and impatient, moving too slowly or too fast.  Cool, rainy weather keeps buds from breaking for weeks; then a spell of hot, windy weather brings out blooms and destroys them in just days.  We want to savor each tableau as it occurs, but everything jumbles together too quickly.

winter aconite w: bee

We had  delightful spring weather last weekend, but it was short-lived.  The blossoms of my Winter Aconite (Eranthus hymelus) opened fully and best of all, a bee came to visit.

Silver Maple flowers in March

The red and gold flowers of the Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) are in bloom now–not as showy as those of the Red Maple (Acer rubrum) , soon to open.

Silver Maple was a very popular street and lawn tree in new sub-divisions in the 50’s and 60’s.  It is a pretty tree with deeply-lobed, 5-pointed leaves, light green on top and silvery green beneath.  It is a fast grower, which is one of the reasons it was planted heavily–new sub-divisions, installed in former corn fields needed quick shade, but that characteristic proved to be a detriment, not an asset.  Silver Maple is weak-wooded and the branches tend to break up in ice storms or heavy winds.  It’s native to our region along streams and in floodplains; when planted in a lawn, however, its root system seeks water and will invade septic fields and water mains, causing damage and requiring costly repairs. or replacements.

Hazelnut catkins forced

I cut a few branches of American Hazelnut (Corylus americana) from my back hedge and in only 2 days, the pendulous, male catkins have started to elongate and turn to gold.  They will open shortly, spilling their pollen all over the dining room table–in my eyes, a delightful occurrence.  The Hazelnut is combined here with Pussy Willow ( Salix discolor) here; its furry buds notable now outside, as well.

goldfinch turning yellow

Goldfinches are beginning to turn gold again–this one is halfway there.   House Finches  are now appearing at my feeder, almost always in pairs,

The weather forecast is for the low 50’s this weekend, but in the 40’s until then.

Spring is in no hurry.



7 Responses to Spring is Coming

  1. Hi Pat April 3, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    Great pictures, thanks!

  2. sharon cross April 3, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    As you predicted, the grass is turning green and only one day late. Love your blog!

    • Pat Hill April 3, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

      You’re right–it is!

  3. Suzanne Massion April 3, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    I love watching those male American Goldfinches turn more yellow every day. This might be the first spring in 20 years since we seeded our prairie that we can’t burn. Tom Van derPoel is due to burn, but we keep losing opportunities. We have burned as late as mid April. Now things are sprouting already. Ought to be interesting to observe a year without fire. Chorus frogs calling loudly in the pond.

    • Pat Hill April 3, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

      I’m still planning on going ahead to burn–I don’t have much coming up yet.

    • Pat April 8, 2014 at 9:00 am #

      I managed to burn a week ago – so glad! It was still damp so I had to continually “encourage” the flames. I also burned my ditch garden, first time. Often there is standing water this time of year so it’s not easy to do.

      Snowdrops are emerging out here in Lee County. LOTS of bunny damage.

      • PatHill April 8, 2014 at 9:47 am #

        I’m still hoping. After last night’s rain, it has to dry out again. I’m waintingg on the city permit.

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