As I was driving into Charlottesville this morning for my normal Tuesday tofu delivery run, I noticed for the first time this year a faint reddish tint of buds just beginning to open on the deciduous trees and shrubs I was passing on the highway. Driving through town, the first tiny splashes of subtle spring color kept grabbing my attention. I don’t think that this was happening last week when I was in town, but that day was also nasty and wet, and I was in a foul mood with an injured back, so I may not have noticed. The buds certainly aren’t starting to open yet at Twin Oaks, which is a tiny bit south and slightly lower elevation than C’ville. But here I was driving around town with little leafy buds beginning to open up everywhere I looked.
This photo from Crozet shows one of about 20 types of tree and shrub that I could have photographed:
One sort of small tree in C’ville had tiny leaves and this flower, which I couldn’t identify but I loved the way it looked.
After my last delivery, I drove out to Mint Springs Valley park, where I had last been four weeks ago, to see how things were changing out there. Here’s my trusty tofu delivery truck parked all alone in an empty parking lot (like the last time, I was the only person out on the trails).
I chose a short hike up to an “abandoned homestead.” The trail, which followed an old road through dense, thicket-y woods, was lined with brambles and bushes that were all just starting to leaf out, coloring the undergrowth with the subtle green of earliest spring:
Near the old homesite, these tender green shoots were breaking through the ground all over. They look like something that may have been planted as part of an ornamental garden years ago, that’s gone wild in this part of the woods:
These are just a few pictures I took on my way back, between Mint Springs Valley and Crozet. It’s a picturesque bit of rural countryside right at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains. There has been a definite noticeable change in the landscape in the four weeks since I was last out this way, and given that it will probably be another four weeks before I return, I’m curious to compare these photos with what I see in early April.