Signs of Spring at Ginty Creek.

If you look at the pictures on the previous posts you will see mostly dull weather.  It seems to be getting colder and colder with unpleasant, strong winds.  However, there are small signs of spring.

The ice has been very late going off the pond, and waterfowl have been rare, but one day a pair of buffleheads landed.

The rhubarb is poking up its green, brain-like leaves.

Colour is intensifying on various species of willow twigs.

Pussy willows are yellow with pollen

Then the first soopolallie (also known as buffalo berry, or bear berry) started to show its tiny, simple, green flowers.

Likewise the mistletoe, a common parasite of the lodgepole pine, is putting forth its curious reproductive parts.  (The plastic mistletoe you get at Christmas is copied from a European species that has green leaves.)

Most precious of all were the tiny early purple violets, which bloom on the sunniest slopes.  They are so dwarfed that it is hard to get the camera down to their level.

On a trip to Tatla Lake a beaver was swimming on the small lake, now open, in front of the library.

Ruffed grouse have been drumming for some time near my house.  the males are so pumped with hormones they display at anything that moves, including cars.  Wolf had to get out of the truck and shoo this one off the road.

ruffed grouse

And finally, two days ago, the last of the ice went off  my pond.  This is on a par with last year, about 2 and a half weeks later than usual.


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