The dog and I walked...WALKED...the Piedmont ski trail here in Duluth today. The alder bushes look like a cluster of shy scared green people stepping outdoors all wrapped in heavy blankets and just beginning to let the blankets go loose.
Yes, it's the end of April and I had no right to think I might still be skiing. Still, the last time I was there it was very early March and the woods were full of snow. The air today was gray and cold and nearly felt like snow, after weeks of way-above temperature. Two miles from Lake Superior and I could still feel her chilly breath.
Anyway, the North Shore forest seems to be responding reluctantly to the early warm spring. Yesterday's 30 degree temperature drop in 30 minutes might have made the green things a bit more reluctant, like they're saying, "Told you so."
Yet the shrubs in the woods inevitably leaf out. It's like Nature Central sent out a memo.
April 21, 2010 To: Plants From: Nature Re: Green up
The warm early spring might have fooled you. Green up should begin, but be careful now.
Flowers are starting to come up as well, like the Canada mayflower slowly unrolling the first of its two leaves. In today's gray and cold, nothing seemed to be in much of a hurry.
The only plant that seemed like it was getting ahead of itself were the marsh-marigolds down in the little forest cricks. Their leaves were big and bold, and the flower buds already have a yellow hue. Maybe they didn't get the memo.
This is spring on the North Shore. The wind may shift, and the temps may not hit 60 again until June. Yet nature marches along.