Sunday, April 22, 2012

House wren territory

The house wren has returned to claim its territory amongst the boughs of the flowering dogwood tree. Both bird and tree are putting on quite a show. The strong, staccato warble of the tiny bird can be heard throughout the day. On the tree, greenish-yellow flowers are encircled by four heart-shaped bracts, massed in layers of white that float in the breeze and seem to be especially vibrant at sunset or on this overcast, rainy day. The much-needed rain is a relief permitting the tree canopy to leaf-out as spring green. Virginia creeper vines are also coming out of winter hiding.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Red Hues of Spring

Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)
 The canopy of the wood has a red blush of maple blossom and high up amongst the bare branches of the chestnut oak a pair of tiny birds is flitting and fluttering about. They are hard to identify as they are so small and move very fast - just two little olive-colored birds. When one of them raised its scarlet crest I knew at once they must be ruby-crowned kinglets! Now I listen out for their high-pitched whistles and warbles as I peruse the ground below for emerging plants. There is mayapple about to open its umbrella of leaves and, to match the hues of red above, wild columbine is just starting to flower.
Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)