Wednesday, February 08, 2006

False Springs

With the excitement over my sighting of the snowy owl, I never got around to posting some pictures from earlier on Sunday. What follow are from a short morning walk I took in the National Arboretum.

As Pamela noted, the last week or two have been unseasonably warm. In Washington, this has had the effect of sending many flowering trees into full bloom, at least a month before they ought to be. Below is one tree that stood out for the numbers of flowers in bloom.

There was also this tree, labelled "Firecracker" for obvious reasons.

What effect all this will have on our "normal" spectacular spring outburst of flowers, I do not know. I do expect that the peak of the cherry tree blooms will come earlier than usual this year.

The bird sightings were not too extraordinary, which was why I did not post them right away. I was glad to see that a red-breasted nuthatch was still there. I had missed seeing one for several trips in January and thought that these had all gone. The two that I heard and then saw were working the pines in the Asian Garden. I also had a gray catbird in the middle of a lively flock across the road from Heart Pond.