April 14– glorious springtime

A glorious day–no other word for it!  Last week’s abrupt “winter to summer” transition left me feeling a bit cheated out of spring, but I’ve certainly had no complaints about the past two days.  Today was one of those days that you dream about all winter and all summer, supremely comfortable both in sunshine and in the shade.

Unfortunately, I had to cook dinner this afternoon, but in the morning, I took a  a roundabout stroll to the courtyard and back again, and there was plenty to see…

Just a couple hundred yards from my back door, I came across this family of fiddleheads unfurling in the April sunshine.Image

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And this wildflower, which I only found one of,  growing well within the forest.  I’ve done a bit of internet research, but can’t figure out what it is. (4/16 update– it is rue anemone  Thalictrum thalictroides)Image

Nearly all of the trees in the forest have begun leafing out, and a few of them have begun to close up the canopy.  Mostly, it’s still pretty sunny down on the forest floor; we’re less than half of the way to the “green tunnel.” Image

Along with the many other trees and bushes that have begun to leaf out is an old nemesis.  Today was the first day that I’ve seen these infamous ‘leaves of three,’ and (coincidentally?) the first day that I’ve experienced that familiar blistery itch, which I think I picked up while working down at the pond a couple of days ago.Image

As I walked towards the courtyard at the edge of the “High South” meadow, I spotted hundreds of these wild violets sprinkled through the grass.   They were just so darn purty, growing in scattered masses of, well, violet.Image

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Another delicate little tree flower, not sure what it is, and the only one like it I ever recall seeing.Image

Further down, I came across a grove of these compound-leafed trees, with newborn leaves that had emerged from their buds just hours earlier.  They had that not-yet-formed look of freshly hatched chicks, or an infant that has just emerged from it’s mother’s womb, all wrinkled and furry.Image

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This apple tree was planted over a decade ago over the placenta of a recently born kid, a Twin Oaks tradition.  The slope that it was planted on was mostly grass and brush at the time, but now the apple tree is fighting for space in a young forest which will eventually shade it out.  For now, it’s holding its own, and opening up its flowers to the cloud of honeybees hovering and buzzing about.Image

The violets in the courtyard are blooming even more thickly than they were up in the pasture.  Every year, it seems like there are more and more violets this time of year in the courtyard, and this year is just ridiculous!Image

The Juneberry, which was just buds a few days ago, has exploded into flower over the past 48 hours, and is also attracting a buzzing vortex of insects.Image

Ditto for this redbud, which is at the height of its spring bloom.Image

And, finally, here’s our largest cherry tree, which was awash in white flowers just a couple of days ago.  Now, the ground underneath is covered with drifts of petals, as newly-growing leaves push the flowers aside.Image

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