Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Silly Start and Wednesday Walk

I am loving the colors used in "Silly as a Goose"! But then as most of you know, I am partial to shades of blue.

The weather has moderated and the temperatures are cooler, but still, it is good Walking Weather! Let's tromp off and see what is to be seen.

The last couple of weeks I've focused on wildflowers.  Today I thought I'd give the ferns and trees and shrubs their due.  Starting off with our ubiquitous Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum). The ferns are evergreen, though as the fronds age they fall lower and lower to the ground and begin to look pretty tattered just about the time the new year's fiddle-heads emerge. 

We have a several wild Cherries on the property. 

Two of the prettiest are at the edge of the road by our mailbox. 

English Hawthorns (Crataegus monogyna) are considered to be invasive murauders!

They have very much made themselves at home in the wild. But they do have pretty white blossoms and as the Cedar Waxwings feast on their berries in the fall, I find it hard to resent their presence.  

Our largest field is green and lush.  It is edged with Ash trees - they will be the last to come into bloom in the spring and the first to lose their leaves in the fall.  They are a sign of a damp boggy sight and edge the largest of our seasonal creeks (hidden behind the trees).  

Vine Maple (Acer circinatum) is also considered a pest and a thug in managed wood lots. 

I find it both pretty and functional. The bright red and green new growth in the spring is very attractive, and numerous birds like the flowers and seeds.

Our April has been a mix of sun and showers, so our seasonal creeks run full and fast. The sound of running water is so pleasant to my ears. 

The timing of spring's emergence plant by plant, tree by tree is so complex. 

The Big Leaf Maples have petulant sprays of flowers and signal the return of spring migrants.

Who you might ask?  The Evening Grosbeaks among others, happily munch on the blossoms. Timing though is critical the birds must arrive as the trees are leafing out - too late and they miss this important part of their spring diet.

Some of the earliest spring shrubs have already set fruit like this Osoberry or Indian Plum (Oemleria cerasiformis).  They'll provide food for birds in just a couple of more weeks.

More green - not sure of the identity of this small tree.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the Pacific Dogwoods (Cornus nuttallii) in bloom.

They are another bird magnet, providing scrumptious berries for the birds in the fall.

We have an apple tree that struggles beneath the fir and dogwoods.  It has been beaten down by snow and weather and a search for sunlight, and is growing almost perpendicularly.

While live trees and shrubs are of great importance, I cannot neglect to mention the critical role that dead trees and snags also provide for wildlife.  This tree looks to have a woodpecker nest of some sort.  I'll keep a lookout and see if that is the case. 


Vickie said...

I really enjoyed this post today Beth. Those cherry trees are so fantastic!

Ann at Beadlework. said...

We're looking very Spring like over here Beth, our cherry is now out and our magnolias are in varying stages of bud and bloom. We've had sun this week and it's brought out the tulips quite early. My sister has a woodpecker visit her garden most days, she gets much warmer weather than we do.

krayolakris said...

Great photos of all the emerging plant life...each so different from the next, all contributing to the complex and primal world out there! Especially love the ferns...sometimes I think I can actually see them growing & unfurling. I've had a return of indigo buntings, very fleeting, and beautiful. Ah, Spring!

Margaret said...

Beautiful! I have to admit I'm partial to the ferns. Very pretty! Love your Silly as a Goose so far!

Barb said...

Thanks for the wonderful walk Beth. I'm with you, I like Vine Maples. I think they are very pretty both in Spring and in the Fall.

Maggee said...

Thanks for the great walk!