Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Aspen leaf flush

Nature sometimes acts pretty fast. This morning I drove to Edson for a meeting. By the time I returned in mid-afternoon leaf flush on aspen trees was obvious. No sign of green in the morning, and I was looking for it. Of course the fact that today was an extraordinarily warm day probably had something to do with the accelerated appearance of leaves. The thermometer at my house said +27 at 5:00 PM.

Leaf flush isn't even. Only some trees are turning green, and often they are in clumps. The clumps are actually clones - all genetically identical with a common root system. Each clone has it's own clock. Some turn green a week or more before their neighbours. It's the same pattern in the fall - some clones turn golden earlier than others.

On my drive I noted a common loon on a roadside lake and a rough-legged hawk soaring over the highway. Those are both first observations of the year for me.

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