hot sun, cool shade
there is a kind of disc in the sky and it moves from east to west in an arc over the course of the day, and it is difficult to look at because it is so bright. it gives off a kind of heat, that one can feel, if one raises one’s face in its direction. after it disappears over the western horizon, the sky turns color and eventually turns black. it is a very strange phenomenon that we are trying to come to terms with here in the post-winter great lakes north. we have our best minds working on the problem, and hope to figure out what this celestial phenomenon means in the coming months. we hope it isn’t a permanent feature of our daytime sky. it is really quite hot.
linden (tilia) buds
what? I can’t hear you…did you say uncle?
box elder catkins. i’m sorry you didn’t catch that? yes, catkins. it’s catkin season, and i love catkins. these are catkins. box elder catkins. i’m sorry you didn’t catch that? yes catkins. it’s catkin season, and i love catkins. these are catkins. box elder catkins. i’m sorry . . .
box elder catkins
more catkin love
i just spent a particularly snowy minnesota winter shoveling sidewalks, fishtailing on black ice, and sucking water from my basement floor with a shop-vac. it is now catkin season, and you are going to get catkins. you can say “when,” but i will ignore you. don’t think i won’t.
quaking aspen (poplar) catkins
weeping willow was given the latin name Salix babylonica because linnaeus made a mistake, and assumed that the species came from the banks of the rivers of babylon. in fact those trees were probably poplars. all i know about weeping willows is that they keep my bees healthy by offering the first pollen of the year. thank you, weeping willow, in a very indirect way, for our honey next fall.
weeping willow catkins
happy may day
thank you for all the nice comments about steve’s recent james beard award…we both feel your support deeply.
the magnolia tree from which i snipped a branch two weeks ago to force some early indoor blossoms is now in full bloom. what a sight a magnolia in bloom can be. i only started noticing magnolias in minneapolis within the last decade, which means there may not have been cold hardy hybrids until then. whoever did the hard work to make a zone 4 hardy magnolia, i want to thank you for your ingenuity and commitment to spring beauty. i appreciate you annually, and passionately.