One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

You see a flash of red in the woods…

It’s a…?

I’ll check back later with your answer!

~~~

Need to have a better look?

We heard a knocking the woods and spotted this Pileated Woodpecker down low! That’s pretty rare, but he had found a dead limb that had fallen and was working his way up it.

While Nutmeg and I held still, he got to the hole in the branch and just stayed there, pecking away at it, making it larger and sucking down some insect with his tongue.

He must have heard more chewing away in there, because we got bored and left before he did!

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Beautiful mystery, aren’t they? We grabbed these photos before the Hawthorn tree leafed out so the thorns stood out.

Also called the thornapple, hawberry and May-tree, because of course it blooms in May–right now!

The bees are abuzz over it, fighting many other insects for the pleasure. We squirrels will stand clear until fall–then we can’t resist the little ‘pomes,’ the fruit, the hawthorn grows–and then we will be fighting the cardinals and cedar waxwings!

Humans have long noticed this tree, of which some species stay shrubby. The blossoms are thought to bring fortune, and for the Greeks, hope. They carried flowering branches in their wedding precessions. But our wildly variable weather here in Virginia this year makes this Scottish saying true: “Ne’er cast a cloot til Mey’s oot.” Never shed your clothes before the May flowers (Hawthorn!) have bloomed.

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

This plant has a symmetry thing going on. (The closer one, not the one in the background–the mystery from a week ago!) Any idea what it is?

I’ll check back for your answers later.

~~~

This five-leaved plant is a new tree–a Willow Oak. This one has just sprouted after we squirrels planted one of a neighboring tree’s acorns. Later, the leaves won’t be radiation out from one point, but will look like this.

Here’s a new Willow oak…

and here’s a mature one in our neighborhood.

We’re happy to see you humans planting them.