Spring flowers and pollinators

Roses are red, violets are …. yellow?

Yellow Violets
Yellow Violets

Laurie is allergic to strawberries, but our property is covered with them

Wild strawberries
Wild strawberries

Our orchard trees were very prolific this year. This crab apple didn’t have much room left for any more blossom.

Crab apple
Crab apple

The eating apples were also the most prolific than they have ever been.

Orchard
Orchard

There were not as many pollinators as usual. Although the trees were buzzing in the mid-morning and I counted about 5 species of bees, by the time I got to taking pictures, there was just one bumble bee that wouldn’t stay still for long enough (a second or two) and this red admiral.

Red Admiral on crab apple
Red Admiral on crab apple

There were only a few hover flies as well, though this one seemed to find plenty to eat on the pussytoes that are taking over a few sections of lawn.

Hoverfly on pussytoes
Hoverfly on pussytoes

Birth and Death in the Spring

I took these pictures on the weekend. Spring is a time for marvelling in new life, like these flowers.

Spring Beauty flowers
Spring Beauty flowers

but it’s not just the flowers that burst into life, it is also the agents of decay.  About 3 years ago, this was a beautiful, 15m tall (50 feet) black cherry.  Now it is feeding grubs which in turn feed woodpeckers.

Rotting Black Cherry tree
Rotting Black Cherry tree

It’s hard to see in this picture, without 3D, but the bubbly-looking mass to the left of the woodpecker hole looks like a river of bubbles pouring from the fork in the tree but is actually a fungus colony.

This is the guy who made the hole:

Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

Another sign of spring this weekend that is just surviving the recent return of winter with -5ºC lows is this butterfly which found a blown away section of the newspaper a good place to bask in the sun.  After its long journey to get here, it did well to pick the Travel section.

Red Admiral Butterfly
Red Admiral Butterfly

While we’re on the subject of flying creatures, back to birds.  The thrasher has returned

Thrasher
Thrasher

and the hawk has never left.

Cooper's (?) Hawk
Cooper's (?) Hawk

I think it’s a Cooper’s hawk – please comment if I’m wrong.

Finally, a more abstract picture – the sun was streaming in at an angle that cast a neat shadow on our newly-painted wall from the tropical plants in the window:

Plant shadows
Plant shadows