Same tree last year , a bit later.
There are lots of good reasons to pay attention to trees and the other plants around you as winter gives way to spring. If you've already learned what a tree's flowers look like, you might then begin to track its bloom time in your own way throughout the years. Last week on Brooklyn Botanic's news blog, arborist Chris Roddick explained a little bit about the complexity of factors that effect the variability of the exact moment of bloom from year to year among species. I enjoyed his post not only because it offered some insight from someone who has spent two decades observing and working with trees, but also because it speaks to the power of observation. And paying attention is something that anyone with any level of botanic knowledge can do. I don't expect to solve any great scientific questions by paying attention to seasonal cues and clues in my own small way, but this small act does make me feel connected to a broader scientific community that is always asking questions and trying to figure out the connections between complex factors in a changing world. And of course, it's incredibly convenient that there is always also the simple joy in celebrating the moment and its beauty.