The Early Spring Fireworks

Even before the beautiful, ephemeral wildflowers bloom—showy ones like the trout lilies, trilliums, bloodroots, marsh marigolds, early blue cohosh, mayflowers, and spring beauties, there is a less-conspicuous but equally thrilling show of spring flowers occurring. It is the fantastic, albeit smaller, flowers of some beloved trees and shrubs. 

It begins with the soft grey catkins of the willow by the pond announcing that the trees are preparing.

Then suddenly, one day your eyes are drawn upward by the gorgeous red blooms of the Silver, and then then Red Maples, against a bright blue spring sky.

Up close they are magnificent, and from a distance they make the Gatineau hills appear as if they are blushing.

Later, the spent male flowers lay like confetti on the ground—evidence of the treetop happenings.

While high in the trees, the female flowers, if pollinated, will develop into samaras to feed countless creatures and begin the future forest.

In yellow, there is Eastern Leatherwood. Beautiful and bendy.

The male catkins of the willows mature and turn yellow with pollen. “These are my type of fireworks!” I think.

The smallest spray of red styles burst from the female Beaked Hazelnut bud.

The unopened buds of the Red Elderberry flowers are purple and berry-like.

Cream-coloured American Fly Honeysuckle flowers hang in pairs.

And the Box Elder/Manitoba Maple flowers hang like pretty tassels.

Lastly, there is the male Balsam Poplar catkin that hangs red and reminds me of a beautiful jingle dance dress.

Spring happens fast, especially this year. Sometimes I wish I could slow it all down. It feels like if you blink you might miss something. But if we have eyes for it, we can catch some spring fireworks.

Take care, Kate