Friday, April 16, 2010

April: "At This Time"

April is emergence.
Leaf buds push fresh green leaves to open in the spring sun.

The four sisters drape and await a slow adage.

In the darker forest a Trillium shows full bloom,

 and in the Gary Oak meadows the Camas flowers spread in blue carpets of colour.

The Coast Salish people harvested the edible bulbs of Camas but were careful to avoid Death Camas, the cream coloured flower in front. Easy to tell the difference now, but when the bulbs were harvested after the flowers were gone.

It is surprising to find some flowers have already gone to seed.

New pine needles erupt from their sheaths

In East Sooke the light is soft and the quiet evening air carries a loon's wail.

The warblers are arriving. An olive-green warbler gleans the shrubs for insects.

Often, the first warbler of spring, the Orange-crowned Warbler is notable for its lack of obvious field marks.

Another watcher enjoys the birds ...

The fertile stems of the Common Horsetail (Equisetum) are seen only in early spring. The spores producing bodies are in the cone-like tip.

A Sunday morning walk from Oak Bay down Rockland Avenue to Cook Street passes gardens in bloom.

At Clover Point the tide is out and the crows are turning rocks to find a snack beneath.

Resting Dunlin are reluctant to fly as they save their energy for the long flight to the breeding grounds

Social flocks of Black Oystercatchers peep together along the reef

and a River Otter grooms and stretches in the sun.