April 11– all at once

 

Third day in a row of 90+ degree temps– everyone’s been complaining that we went straight from winter to summer, and it’s certainly starting to feel that way.   We’ve reached that part of the year where it feels like the changes in the landscape, especially the opening of leaves on all the forest trees, is happening hour-to-hour rather than in weekly or monthly increments.  More trees and flowers are opening up each day than I can observe or make note of in any sort of systematic way.  Every time I step outside, walking between jobs or just wandering at random, I see some fresh eruption of flower or leaf and think “I swear it didn’t look like that yesterday…”

Here’s the maple tree right outside of my back door, as it looked at the beginning of the day.  I’ll take another picture tomorrow morning to see if it looks noticeably different.

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The birdfeeder was empty, as usual.  Every time I fill it, it is completely mobbed, mostly by purple finches but also all the other usual birds, and drained within a few short hours.  The goldfinches are in the middle of their transition from winter drab to summer  bright, so they present an interesting patchy appearance.Image

This compound-leaved tree (I think it might be a hickory) was just bursting out of its leaf-buds today– they were all closed up yesterday.Image

The ground under the enormous cherry tree by MT was carpeted with snow-like blossoms.Image

Here’s the cherry tree itself, a photo I took just before sunset today.  I think that today is the absolute peak of its bloom, I can’t imagine it getting more flowery than this, and it’s already starting to lose a lot of its pedals.Image

Up in the cherry tree, what I’m pretty sure was a monarch butterfly.  I’ve been seeing a lot of them around over the past couple of days, this is the only one I’ve been able to photograph.  Image

I don’t know what the next two flowers are, but I’m sure they weren’t here yesterday.Image

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This exquisite bunch of rose-looking flowers was bursting out of an otherwise nondescript brush pile next to the pond.Image

The young trees in the newer apple orchard, planted a few years ago, started blooming just this afternoon.  The big old trees in the old orchard still haven’t shown any signs of spring.Image

The big deciduous forest trees are just today beginning to be surrounded by the pontillist green haze that the lower shrubs and bushes have had for the past week.  The momentum and pace of growth this week, after having spent the past three months adjusting to the suspended animation of a Virginia winter is exhilarating and even a bit exhausting.   Mostly, I’ll be glad when we get some rain and the temps cool off by 20 degrees or so.Image

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