Sunday, May 03, 2009

Spring Flowers: What's Blooming Now

Last week's (relative) heat wave was all the encouragement needed to make trees leaf out and flowers bloom. As a result there has been an explosion of color in my neighborhood, even among some flowers I would not have expected to be out quite this early. I am including a few images below that I took over the last few days. The overcast skies helped a bit since the bright colors were not as blown out as they might otherwise have been on sunny days.

First, a rhododendron:

rhododendronNext, an iris:

irisThird, a dogwood flower:

dogwoodFinally, here are some blossoms on a cherry tree in Donaldson Park:

cherry blossomsUnfortunately I missed getting photographs when the white-flowered Yoshino cherries bloomed a week or two ago.

I have not been birding as much as I perhaps should be given the season, but I am still seeing migrants. (Once one becomes attuned to their appearance and sounds, it is hard not to notice their passage.) Within the last week, the first Chimney Swifts and Yellow Warblers have arrived. Yesterday, my observations in Donaldson Park included a Solitary Sandpiper and Baltimore Orioles. It is amazing how a bird as bright as an oriole can be so difficult to spot when it is singing from the top of a tree. The Canada Geese and Killdeer already have their first rounds of babies.