The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group. It is a place to note of any observations you have made of the world around you. Insects, weather, fish, climate, birds and/or flowers. All are worthy additions to the bucket. Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment. Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located.
Seattle. February 26, 2013.
Late February and I see spring emerging once again in the Forest. I am always surprised. Was it February two years ago that I spotted the first leaves of Enchanter's Nightshade (Circaea lutetiana) in the shelter of a nurse log down by where the southern Barred Owls nest every year? Indeed, it was, on February 18. And again, in 2012, on February 23. This year I found them, in the same place, on February 24. Today there were new sprouts 20 feet in each direction, but none in any other place on the Forest paths.
February 24, 2013. Enchanter's Nightshade.
I have searched in all of the places where Bracken Fern appeared around this time in 2011 and 2012 (see diaries linked above), but have found none. They seem late this year. And
I have no records for the first appearance of Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
, so let this comment
from Sunday Feb 10 be the first notation and this be the first image.
February 24, 2013. Stinging Nettle.
There's a tiny sheltered spot down near the northern tip of the Forest peninsula where a pale Red-flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum)
first bloom every year. Last year I found their cat pissy fragrant flowers on February 7
. This year I happily inhaled it for the first time on February 17.
Image taken on February 24, 2013. Red-flowering Currant.
One more thing, and one that grieves me: Trillium ovatum
. I begin to watch for the first Trillium every year in mid-January, even though I know that they will not appear for at least a month. Last year the Trillium colony that has grown for 20+ years in a hidden place in the Forest was wiped out
by a new colony of Mountain Beaver (Aplodontia rufa
). Still, on February 17, Trillium leaves began to rise up from under a drift of rotting Big-leaf Maple leaves in the same place I've found them in the past.
Image taken on February 24, 2013. Trillium.
I had to push the maple leaves aside to find these, and I pushed the maple leaves back when I was done. It was, I suspect, a vain attempt to protect these survivors, for I have watched that Mountain Beaver colony now for a year now and they have not moved on. So let the record show that in 2013, the first Trillium emerged on February 17, as they had on February 14, 2012 and on February 24, 2011.
I'll be back in the early afternoon, PST and again around dinnertime. Carry on.