Willow catkins

Taken in the rain last week:

My idea was to visit a big shrubby willow that had catkins a week or so before. I was hoping that the anthers would be out and covered with drops. Most of the catkins had opened, but the rain had turned them into matted clusters, like wet hair. I tried photographing them, but the sodden clusters of anthers didn’t show the drops or the anthers well. Then I found this branch and took a series for a stacked image.

Spring frost

Frost on a curled leaf on a chilly morning a few days ago:

Despite this frost, flowers are blooming – I found bloodroot blooming yesterday, a couple of weeks earlier than last year.

Moss capsules

A bunch of moss capsules:

I’ve been finding other types of moss in addition to this species, but the feathery projections at the end of the capsules make this one a favorite.

Moss flower

Another encounter with moss:

This moss was growing on wood, at the base of a tree in a boggy wetland. The detail at the tip of the “flower” reminded me of an anemone. A pretty spring afternoon, the frogs were peeping and the red-winged blackbirds were crying out territorial songs.

Drops and moss

Water drops on a tuft of moss:

As winter fades, it’s hard to find color in the woods. I went out looking for a bright green tuft of moss. This one wasn’t quite the bright emerald I imagined, but the drops were nice in the late afternoon light.  Taken at 2x or 3x magnification.

Winter sights

A few things I’ve seen this winter:

It’s been an intermittent winter. Last weekend was warm, with a few patches of flowers, now it’s cold again, with temperatures around freezing. The snowy pictures are from last month, the leaf image is more recent. I found some ice in a shallow pond, I liked the overlapping shapes of the leaves. If you look closely, the surface of the ice is cracked and creased with lines and scattered small bubbles.

Adonis vernalis

Two views of an early spring non-native flower, one of the center, another an abstract of the petals:

I saw this buttercup relative today at Acton Arborteum, thanks to two volunteers doing a plant survey for a tagging project who told me where to look for it. There were only a couple small patches in bloom, some of them already gone by. It’s small and low to the ground. I hope it spreads, a group of them would make a great image. A much more interesting sight than the snowdrops that were also blooming.

Ice geometry

Three views of geometric ice patterns:

It’s amazing how the patterns, rhythm, and density changes in different sections. Each section is a few inches across.

Witch Hazel

Always among the first blooms, it seems a little early to see these flowering:

They remind me of tiny ribbons. My memory is that witch hazel blooms in early March, but it’s been an uncommonly mild winter so far.

In the mangroves

A sight from the Indigo Trail at Ding Darling Refuge:

_55A2390-2-mangrove-tangle2

When I go back to Sanibel (someday!) I want to spend more time in the mangrove swamps – the wonderful roots in water, the tree crabs, and other creatures. I’m not sure what trees and vines are in this tangle of growth.