I'm so proud that our Waters School families have set an example at the garden and at the River, of keeping our distance, wearing masks and respecting the beautiful display of Nature's artistry that is unrolling. Others are doing less well, plowing multiple new paths down the slope at Horner, flattening areas that are just awakening with picnic blankets and tarps, someone even set up a tent!
Anyway, the promised yellow violets are carpeting the ground around one of our oaks at Waters, multitudes of brilliant glistening stars. Away from the oaks you may see another low yellow beauty, marsh buttercup. The amazing blue of Virginia bluebells. The drooping yellow lanterns of Bellwort. And the first of a multitude of pink, five petaled Wild Geraniums. Come visit them with your family pod, keep your distance, and sketch them into your pandemic notebook! If it is crowded, come back at another time.
Those long drooping sausages hanging from trees are the male flower, loaded with pollen that is making people sneeze, and making them assure people they don't have the virus. The oaks have catkins,too, and they are providing a good share of the pollen in the air. But we have two other tree species in the garden that are part of the first grade tree study. Two trees with catkins in bloom right now. How to tell them apart??
One of them, River Birch, has papery bark that flakes off like tracing paper.
The other, Blue Beech, is also called "Musclewood", its trunk is smooth and sinewy, very unique and beautiful. The Blue Beech is tucked into the corner of the building, just south of the main entrance. The river birch are just east of the Annex, and by the Swale.
Check them out. (Photos below, thanks Jeff)
I will try to record and send out the 1st Grade Tree ID Song "Oh, The Trees!" so that the kids can keep it fresh in their minds. I have to admit, I have the habit of naming trees as I bike down the street. Try it!.