tiny kitten paws
pussy willow are actually flowers. the soft coating of hairs acts as insulation to protect these early bloomers from cold temperatures. they are dotting our wetlands like crazy at the moment. we have an abundance of lakes and rivers here in minnesota, and thus many species of willow–from stout shrubby species that line our riverbanks and marshes to magnificent weeping willow trees that reach 50 feet in height. ever since we became beekeepers a few years ago, i have been exceedingly grateful for these early bloomers. they will soon be loaded with pollen and will provide important sustenance to our hard working hives which have thankfully survived yet another record setting winter.