25 February 2023
For seven days this week the temperature stayed above freezing and hit 71 degrees F on Thursday. At 26 degrees above normal, flowers opened on plants and trees.
My favorites were the early crocuses. Native to Bulgaria, Hungary, Albania and the former Yugoslavia, these woodland crocuses (Crocus tommasinianus) are often seen in gardens but someone in my neighborhood planted them in a grassy front yard. Because the flowers bloom before the grass grows they are in no danger of being mowed.
On Pitt’s campus Cornelian cherry trees (Cornus mas) produced yellow flowers.
Red maples (Acer rubrum) bloomed next to Carnegie Museum …
… and at Frick Park the maple branches looked thick with tiny flowers, including yellowish pollen-bearing ones.
This week, tiny leaves opened on jetbead (Rhodotypos scandens) and a few honeysuckle bushes. Unfortunately invasive plants are first to leaf out.
The coming week will be like a wet blanket: above freezing, gusty wind, lots of rain.
(photos by Kate St. John)