Saturday, March 5, 2011

Catkins, Revisited

Pink female catkins on the Manchurian Alder

All winter I've been visiting this Manchurian Alder across from the Children's Garden at Brooklyn Botanic since spotting its fabulous catkin show on a walk in late December with Susan and Pat. Yet, this Friday was the first time I really noticed the new pink female catkins on this tree. You can see from an earlier picture (below) that they were indeed there, but they seemed so small even just a little over a week ago and you really have to look for them to even see them. They were overshadowed by last years darker female catkins, which hang around through the winter, and the longer male catkins. Surely those little pink catkins had gotten bigger since I saw them last because they were the first thing I noticed when I looked at the tree this Friday afternoon.

That's the really fun thing about watching plants. You might think that there's not a lot happening with the trees around you, but when you really take a look, you find they are changing all the time. These pretty catkins on the alder are a reminder to pay more attention to what's happening with the birches I pass this year. (The alders and birches share a family.)

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