When I walked around the Japan House Pond a bit after noon today, it had been 22 days since my previous post– a longer interval than I intended, but sometimes life gets in the way. The air was nearly 30 degrees warmer than my last visit. The grass surrounding the pond was starting to green up, and the color of breaking buds illuminated the grove across the water.
Spring blooms like this Iris reticulata have started to pop up in the landscaping surrounding Japan House. It’s not hard to imagine a few weeks from now when the peonies will be in full bloom.
|Prunus x yedoensis (Yoshino Cherry)|
The cherry trees and magnolias lining the south side of the pond are beginning to break bud, teasing me with a promise of a spectacular bloom in the not too distant future.
|Alnus glutinosa (European Alder)|
The flowering catkins of Alnus have broken their winter dormancy and will soon be scattering their pollen on the same wind that ripples the water’s surface.
|Viburnum prunifolium (Blackhaw Viburnum)|
The blackhaw Viburnum that held its buds so tightly just three weeks ago has started the slow emergence into leaf. The felt-like covering on its buds has begun to split, revealing its lighter-hued center.
|Crataegus mollis (Downy Hawthorn)|
The hawthorns whose bark casts such a whitish-grey pall during winter is now covered with bursts of spring-green as their mahogany bud scales open to reveal the new foliage inside.
|Canada geese (Branta canadensis)|
A small flock of Canada geese, who previously watched me warily from a safe distance, seemed unfazed by my presence today. Perhaps they are getting used to people as the weather warms and more visitors populate the arboretum.
|Acer rubrum (Red Maple)|
Upon closer inspection, the red cast in the northern grove was the result of thousands of Red Maple buds that had begun to reveal their scarlet flowers.
|Allium sp. (Wild Onion)|
Patches of green dotted the leaf-littered floor of the grove. A quick pinch and sniff made for easy identification of wild onion. The only other growth at the base of the trees took the form of the tiny spreading foliage of barren strawberry.
|Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta)|
This painted turtle, the largest of a bale of turtles that were warming themselves on the bank, kept a careful eye on me as I walked closer. Unlike his counterparts, he chose to stay on the shore rather than sacrifice the stored warmth he’d collected from the sun.
On this first full day of spring, life has definitely taken a different tone and hue around the Japan House Pond.