Valentine's Day Sunshine!

Yesterday was Valentine's Day and miracle of miracles, it was sunny and mild out!  Finally, an opportunity for us to take a decent walk in actual sunshine. February is often a month of contrasts in my part of the state. Usually it ranges from gosh darn chilly to downright balmy -- sometimes in the same day. It has been mostly just chilly so far this year, but I was eager to get out and see if there were any early signs of spring.

Despite the cold, some plants have noticed the increase in the length of the daylight and buds are poised to burst.

An American Elm, waiting patiently for warmer weather.

 Catkins and cones of a Brook-side Alder are ready to ensure that there will be seeds for the coming year.

A Red Maple got a jump on its neighbors.  Most are still in bud, but this one has flowers in bloom.

These bees get an early start every year.  This particular species builds tunnels in softer soils.  The males hover over the openings of the tunnels that the females excavate.

 Field Pansies always make me smile.  This one was blooming in a roadside ditch.

 White-throated Sparrows are starting to look dapper.  They will be be around for a couple of more months though.  We usually see them into April, then they will head north to nest.
Hermit Thrushes also winter here.  They are entertaining birds to watch.  Sometimes we are fortunate enough to hear them practicing their territorial songs before they head north.  It's a beautiful song.

I know we have more winter weather ahead but it sure was nice to have a respite, no matter how brief.


biobabbler said...

Oh, lovely. I've been enjoying our local hermit thrush a LOT this winter. Our GIANT, B-1 bomber bumblebees have started declaring & patrolling territories, and the manzanita have popped out their beautiful pink umbels. Exciting!

BTW, that header photo you have is AMAZING. I'm SO jealous. Nicely done! =)

Pablo said...

I agree. More winter to come, but any respite is welcome.

I'm impressed with your photography skills.

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