SPRINGING GREEN, part 1

Finally, we are starting to green up here in Waghkonk, brightly verdant leaves unfolding from shrub and tree. Another color not usually associated with this season is red, but if you look in our woods right now, you’ll notice a subtle reddish haze that dominates our hardwood forest. I call it “the Red Haze of Spring”. It is the predominant color of the bud-caps of most of our deciduous trees, like Ash, Birch, Maple and Oak. Obviously, this is an ephemeral, temporary phenomenon, as these little “caps” are pushed off by the growing buds, soon to become flowers. Shortly, we’ll find the ground covered in these discarded little red dots, soon to disappear completely, composted in the new, fresh s

WINTERSPRING (part 2)

Now that winter winds are no longer whipping down our mountain slopes, and the icy snows are melting fast, the green carpet of life can start threading its way inexorably, steadily upward into every nook and cranny, every gully and hidden quarry of our southeast Catskills. Little shoots of Wild Chives, that somehow survive - even thrive - under the snow, gladly reach for the sky, alongside wide leaves of Ajuga - itself always one of the earliest plant-harbingers of Spring. Bright red Partridgeberries poke upward from their long runners. These are just a few of the very first of this year’s verdant parade - the fun’s just starting kids! And while it’s true that the vernal season is upon us, i

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