Natives Bounce Back

Frostbitten star magnolia, Schenley Park, 18 April 2014 (photo by Kate St. John)

19 April 2014

The mid-week freeze damaged flowers on our northern magnolia trees. Above, a bruised Star magnolia, below, a very brown Saucer magnolia, both in Oakland.

Northern magnolia turned brown by late freeze, 16 April 2014 (photo by Kate St. John)

Northern magnolias are non-native trees from Asia, specially cultivated for their early blooms, so their timing isn’t right for our mid-April cold snaps.

Our native plants had no problem because the freeze occurred within the normal span of our last killing frost.

Yesterday Dianne Machesney found beautiful flowers blooming at Cedar Creek Park in Westmoreland County, some of them new since I was there last weekend.

Harbinger-of-spring’s tiny flowers are quite hardy.  This plant is often the first to bloom.
Harbinger of spring, 18 April 2014 (photo by Dianne Machesney)

Twinleaf is new this week because its internal clock told it to wait.  The flower resembles bloodroot but the leaves are quite different. (Click here for a view of its twin leaves.)
Twinleaf in bloom, 18 April 2014 (photo by Dianne Machesney)

The natives bounce back fast.

(northern magnolia photos by Kate St. John. Flower photos by Dianne Machesney)

3 thoughts on “Natives Bounce Back

  1. Hi Kate,
    I know this isn’t related to this post, but I’m curious about Dorothy & E2. I keep watching them everyday. They both seem to still “kind of” try to incubate that egg. When will they, or will they, give up on it. Could Dorothy lay any more eggs at this point? What is egg binding, which I read in an earlier post from you? I just feel bad for them!!!!

    1. Debbie Key, Dorothy is not incubating the egg and probably will not lay another one. She seems to be at the end of her reproductive life — a friend called it hen-o-pause.
      E2 is still in breeding condition so he sometimes begins to incubate the egg but quits fairly soon as he seems to remember it’s pointless. Eventually — though perhaps not until the breeding season is over in June — both birds will stop coming to the nest, effectively ignoring the egg.
      Egg binding occurs when an egg gets stuck inside the bird’s reproductive tract. If it does not pass out of the bird’s body it can cause an infection and death. Dorothy is very lucky she was able to pass the bad egg.
      It seems sad but it is similar to a human female going through menopause… which I don’t consider sad at all.

  2. Thank you for clearing that up. I just feel bad when one of them is still trying to incubate and just looks at the egg. I’m sure it doesn’t feel the same emotions about it as we human LOL!

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