For those of you who read food blogs, you will often see a "What I Ate Wednesday" post. Same idea here, except it will be what I saw when I ran on Wednesdays. So take a peek at what my orbs observed and then add your own experience!
The weather was forecast to be stormy and rainy in the afternoon and evening (still waiting!) so I got up this morning before work for a run around the Point. The milder weather leaves us tonight (ohh, goodie, temps in the 20s with 25-35 mph winds tomorrow! NOT!) so I savored the feeling of a bare head and took special note of more signs of spring. On particular display, and this post's theme, were buds! For those of you who don't often get up in the grill of plants, buds are the new growth for the year that will eventually be either shoots, leaves, flowers. Besides the fact that they portend warmer days, I love buds for their uniqueness by species. Some buds are big, some are scaly, some are fuzzy, some are pointy, some are round. Today, I took pictures of ones that were eye level-ish to share with you all. There were more out there, but my lil point n shoot was no match for getting decent shots of them.
First up is a coastal staple, the Northern Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica). If you have ever been on a history or nature tour of any sort at the coast, this is the plant they surely mentioned as the one colonists would harvest the fruit from and turn them into candles. I also like crunching the leaves in my hand and enjoying their pleasant scent. These buds had a lovely ruddy color and are on the smaller side. Super cute!
This tree sported some excellent new growth to go along with its puffy buds! The older parts of the tree are grey with the new shoots more rusty colored and growing vertically. I'm actually a little torn on its identity. In the field, I thought it was Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) but the field guides are not bearing that out. Hmm, gonna have to get back to you on this one!
Let's take a cruise on over to confierland with this specimen - Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii). If you have used your most advanced detective skills, you will not be surprised to hear that this plant is from Japan. It handles salt and sand well and is one of those non-natives that does not seem to do much harm. In fact, it has actually been in rapid decline due to a nematode that is causing morality. This tree seems to be in fine health, though, and it's new shoots are touch of the whimsical.
Red Maple (Acer rubrum) is one of the first pioneers forging into spring and the flowers bursting from this tree showed that it was doing it with exuberance! I wish the color was brighter in this picture but since its not, let me direct you to my good friend Meg's excellent blog of her Georgia nature observations, where she recently posted gorgeous maple flower pictures.
This last one is actually less of budding trees and more of budding birders. There is nothing "new shoot" about the skill level of these three (Tom, Mike and Megan) who are all seasoned pros, but I bet they'd agree that every day they are out birding is another chance for growth. Giants among us, this trio.
It was a calm, peaceful morning around the Point and one of those days where 24 hours is going to make all the difference. The same time tomorrow it is going to be blowing a gale force and back to below freezing. Brrr.