The snow is quickly melting and warmer temperatures are moving in bringing with it an increased desire to go outside and leave our winter dens in Minnesota. People are smiling more and generally in a better mood. Geese are taking advantage of more open water and making their annual trek north in search of places for food and the perfect nesting grounds.
Ducks are following suite as there are numerous different types that we don’t usually see except for their migrations. As water becomes more accessible there are more and more flying through. Even though the ice is retreating it is very likely these ducks will be dealing with a spring snow storm or two yet.
It’s nice to be able to spend more time outdoors with lighter coats and not be cold after awhile. It won’t be long before the trees will begin showing signs of life confirming winter is in months past. This year spring seems to be a few weeks early which many people seem to agree is perfectly ok. Only a few that are passionate for winter activities are morning the loss of snow and ice.
Even though there appears to be no sign of life in the trees there is one that is taking advantage of this early part of spring – pussy willows. They are quickly extending their buds and preparing to flower. An event many miss as this happens while there may be a few spots of snow and ice still visible. Amazing to me that these plants can grow so quickly with temperatures cooling off to below freezing at night.
As these pussy willows progress you see these bright yellow pollen shedding anthers basking in the brighter sunlight inviting any insect nearby. Watching for a short time reveals a multitude of bugs stirring and consuming this abundance of food that never appeared to be alive a few moments before. Yes, spring has begun and so has the re-appearance of life after surviving in the cold, barren landscape for so many months.