The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group. It is a place where we share our observations about the natural world. Whether we note the spring migrating birds or the first buds on your trees, we are building a resource to learn more about the patterns of nature and how they may be changing. Everyone is welcome to contribute! Just tell us what you are seeing in your backyard or wherever you are roaming and approximately where your observations come from.This is a seasonal update on my previous bucket on my woods in winter. On March 5th, sunlight returned to a corner of our front yard, having risen above the trees along the southern boundary. That's a sure sign that spring is here. Let's go for another walk!
In the last episode, we strolled through what I referred to as the "bare bones" of my forest here on the NE corner of the Olympic Peninsula of WA state. Early spring adds flowering of the trees and shrubs as well as new growth and flowers of non-evergreen perennials on the forest floor.
This year, I discovered that we have at least one Indian plum (Oemleria cerasiformis) shrub on the property. I had never noticed it before and it is nice to be continually making new discoveries on this land. Indian plum, aka Osoberry, is one of the first things to flower in our area.
In the upland forest, there are several specimens of Western trillium. Given bwren's experience, we're fortunate that our trilliums are several hundred feet away from the Mountain beaver (Aplodontia rufa) burrow that we know about on the edge of our bluff.
It is hard to detect any major changes in the evergreen trees, the Western redcedars and the Douglas-firs. We'll see their pollen collecting on our car windshields, but it is the deciduous trees that are the ones that make a strong statement in the springtime.
The Bigleaf maple trees are just beginning to flower. Until I photographed the flowers, I didn't really see just how beautiful they are. The flowers come out before the leaves unfold.
Happy Spring! What is happening in your backyard?