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The Daily Bucket is a place where we post and exchange our observations about what is happening in the natural world in our neighborhood. Bugs, buds, birds - each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.
Seattle. February 24, 2012.

Late February in the Forest and spring begins to exhale. Osoberry (Oemleria cerasiformisis) are always the first to leaf out. Every February they provide a scrim of green in the most sheltered places, a promise of light, the end of winter.

February 23, 2012. Osoberry bushes.
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Below the Osoberry there is new growth to record and to compare with notes taken in the past. I've linked to last year's notes and photos in the text below if you'd like to compare the two years directly.

I've been checking for Trillium (Trillium ovatum) since Valentine's Day. On February 15th I found their first pale shoots under a blanket of last year's fallen maple leaves. A week later they'd pushed up into the light. Last year these same plants appeared on February 24. They bloomed on March 8. We'll see when they bloom this year.

February 23, 2012. Trillium.
February 23, 2011. Trillium.

On February 18 last year I found a single incipient Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum) near the Trillium. That first shoot was destroyed shortly afterwards by an errant footfall. It wasn't until late March that they began to appear again in the greater Forest. Yesterday there were at least a half dozen young fronds rising up near where last year's first appeared.

February 23, 2012. Bracken Fern fiddlehead.
February 23, 2011. Bracken Fern fiddlehead.

In my memory Enchanter's Nightshade (Circaea lutetiana) is a green mid-May carpet covering the forest floor, yet their first leaves have already begun to appear. Of interest is that these new leaves are located in the same place as the plants first appeared last year. This location is the only place in the forest where I've found Enchanter's Nightshade so early.

February 23, 2012. Enchanter's Nightshade.
February 23, 2011. Enchanter's Nightshade.

February 24, 2012. Trillium, Bracken Fern and Enchanter's Nightshade have all emerged. Osoberry bushes are continuing to leaf out.

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Chime in with your reports and locations. I'll be in and out most of the day.

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