Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mother Nature's Garden

In the more bucolic parts of Lotus Island, Mother Nature's handiwork is in full display this morning. The Indian Plum (Oemleria cerasiformis) is in full flower. This small tree or shrub is the first of Mother Nature's to flower. The plum is widespread throughout the island and like us, is not spectacularly beautiful, but is plentiful, durable and fruitful. The Red Alders are abundantly present throughout Mother Nature's plot and the red male catkins are in full bloom. Though the Red Alder (Alnus rubra) is so named because of its red bark, the catkins, when a grove of Alders is seen from a distance, give a beautiful red hue to the landscape. The westerly view from the Fulford harbour ferry is fantastic. Once the leaves emerge the red hue goes. The wild American plum, (Prunus americana) is also in bloom,white flowered,beautiful and abundant. It maybe more of "an escape" rather than Mother Nature's baby. But then, in a way, I suppose we are all "an escape". Over our painted deck the three Western Red Cedars (Thuja plicata) have been dropping their pollen cones for the last two weeks as the little cones detach from the leaf tips. The tiny cones stick to the deck because of the little irregular scalelike shape. They don't seem to provoke much interest from the Oregon Juncos that are making the rounds right now. The cones are so adherent to the deck I can't blow them off with the blower. The air is thick with pollen, the pianist commented to me on the walk yesterday. It has to be the Alders and the Indian Plum as the Maples and Cottonwoods are not in bloom yet. Last year's maple seed cases winged their way onto our shingle roof in the fall and have split and produced hundreds of seedlings growing in the shingle intervals. I hate to disappoint them but the first few dry sunny days and it's curtains for them. Thank goodness!

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