A Different View for Wildflowers

Cold weather has delayed the arrival of traditional, early spring wildflowers. This has led me to look up rather than down, searching for the lesser known flowers of trees and shrubs. They can be stunning, but often require magnification to be appreciated.

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One of the many species of shrubby willows (Salix); a critical food source for bees in early spring

 

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Red maple (Acer rubrum) in full bloom

Photos by NB Hunter. ©All Rights Reserved.

 

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Early May Highlights, 2016

I’ve captured a sample of early May in Central New York, often dodging rain drops in the process. My mother had more than a passing interest in nature and would have loved this post.

She liked flowers, cultivated or wild, didn’t much matter.

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Fading glory: Red Trillium in a moist ravine, past peak bloom

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Willow (one of many species of wild willow shrubs)

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Wild Juneberry (also Serviceberry, Amelanchier or Shadbush)

She kept a bird feeder and enjoyed her backyard visitors. Early May was peak migration and full of surprises.

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Goldfinch perched near a Nyjer seed feeder

Of course everyone loves babies. These family photos would have been plastered all over the wall (and the real family photos pushed aside)!

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Family of Canadian Geese (there were 8 goslings in all, just a few days old)

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Bald Eagle, tearing small pieces from a kill to feed her 3 youngsters

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Raising young is a team effort: parent #2 arrives with a duck in its grasp (determined from another image in the sequence)!

Happy Mother’s Day

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

 

Willows in Sun and Rain

The wild willow shrubs (Salix spp.) are in full bloom. There are many species, their identification complicated by hybridization, but all have silky-hairy flower buds that give rise to an early spring bloom. As with the Glory-of-the-snow garden flower covered in a recent post, the early Willow bloom is a critical food source for bees and other insects.

One local species is fairly showy, displaying large buds and masses of pale yellow flowers that brighten up the monochromatic landscape of a wetland on a dark and dreary evening.

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Willow shrub, buds bursting (19April2014)

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Willow shrub, approaching full bloom (29April2014)

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.