M is for Maple

Back on April 2nd, on ‘B’ day, we featured red maple blossoms. After thinking it over, we squirrels decided we have given this species the short end of the branch, only because it doesn’t produce acorns. So let’s have another look at maple trees, specifically, the red maple!

As we noted on ‘B’ day, red maples bloom early, often being the first, but certainly the most prolific, early bloomer in the eastern mid-atlantic area. So, nice start to spring with that red blush over the trees. (And food for the bees!) Then theses trees become red all over again when their seeds–the samaras–set on.

We’ve generously written about those, too, here. Clearly, these trees are well named!

Then the red maples go all green for the summer.

Nice, dense shade from these spreading giants. And in the fall…

Look out! It’s a red spectacular!

Winter isn’t boring either.

Nice suburban tree! Too bad it doesn’t grow acorns.

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B is for Blossoms

We know you humans are enjoying the spring blossoms, but one of our first spring bloomers in up in the air…

Have you noticed a blush of red in the trees? Red maple trees are a prolific bloomer–providing bees with much needed pollen to feed their young bees and revive the worker numbers.

And for our regular readers expecting a ‘Motionless Monday’ post today–this is the best bloomer we’ve found!

 

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there,

Staying seasonal with our mystery, what are these red leaves?

Mystery # 170

Or if you want a challenge, what are the green ones?

I’ll check back later for your guesses!

~~~

This beautiful fall color brought to you by Red Maple, Acer rubric, and Metasequoia, Metasequoia glyptostroboides. Enjoy!

S is for…

Samaras!

Red Maple samara branch

Bet you thought we’d say squirrels. Hickory wanted me to say squirrels. He wants us to feature squirrels as much as possible during the Blogging From A to Z Challenge, but we got over that a few years ago.

We enjoy a good scamper in the Red Maple trees in our neighborhood, which have been a steady red to pink the last month, looking like they are still blooming.

Red Maple full of ripe samaras

It’s the seeds, the samaras. This is a name given to any winged fruit. When the seeds are ripe, the ‘wings’ dry and are quite papery. They loosen and spin to the ground, and if there is a wind, are carried far from the parent tree, giving them a better chance of growing themselves. It’s part of nature’s plan to make the earth green! When we woke up yesterday, all those little winged Red Maple seeds were floating to the ground–the proof being the humans just laid down mulch yesterday.

samaras on fresh mulch

Of course we got busy, too and nipped off some of the bunches.

Red Maple branch tips nipped by squirrels

Don’t ask me why, it’s just a squirrel urge. And sometimes we eat the seeds.

Red Maple branch nipped by squirrel

But we can’t eat all of them and the samaras of course will go everywhere and send up maple seedlings in the most unlikely places.

samaras in sidewalk crack

Enjoy!