Alders in Bloom

This is a Pickerel Creek phenology post.

High temp yesterday – 68°F
Damp and partly cloudy
Sunrise at 6:58AM, sunset at 7:13PM – that’s exactly twelve hours and fifteen minutes of daylight. MORE DAYLIGHT THAN DARKNESS! HECK YEAH!

The creek looks vastly different than in did the last time I took a photograph from this spot, which was eleven days ago. No snow! And, consequently, much higher water. Also, the alders along its banks have changed dramatically since the last time I posted about them – they’re in bloom now.

(Forgive the blurry bit around the bottom, I accidentally jiggled the tree a bit as I was taking the photo.) The catkins, the male flowers, have burst open to start spewing pollen everywhere. Sorry, allergy sufferers.

It took me an embarrassingly long time staring at the plant before I could spot the female flowers, the ones that will eventually develop into those characteristic cone-like fruits. Compared to the catkins, right now they’re tiny.

Also, take a look at that leaf bud in the background. Is that a green tip I spy…? Indeed it is! After spending last winter in south Georgia, where winter doesn’t really amount to anything and therefore spring is pretty meaningless too, spring in the North Woods is a lot of fun.

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