Thursday, April 8, 2010

Snow and Box Elder Buds

I was on the phone this morning, listening,  talking and looking out my kitchen window at the goldfinches at my feeder.  I couldn't believe my eyes:  it looked like snow.  It couldn't be cold enough, could it?

I convinced myself that what looked like snow had to be soot from my neighbors trash "burn can."  It wasn't until I checked the weather report that I discovered the truth:  yah, it was cold enough and that was snow. 

Despite the temperature, I went down to the Chippewa River State Trail to walk a mile or so and photograph tree buds.
Acer negundo male flowers

Acer negundo female flowers (and emerging leaves)

female flowers

Box Elder male flowers have been in bloom for several days.  Today was the first time I spotted the green female flowers and leaves.  Box Elders are "dioecious" (die - eee - shus) - each tree is either male or female.  The male trees produce only male flowers and female trees produce only female flowers.

I'll be looking for the new fruits (samaras) over the next couple of weeks.  The female trees have been dropping their old dry fruits over the past couple of months - but many are still hanging on - another example of marcescence.

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