This morning I walked from Chimney Rock Park to the northeast shore of Washington Valley Reservoir.
The crabapples by the ball field will soon be flowering.
The ash trees were blooming already. Ash is dioecious, so the whole tree is either male or female. These flowers are male; you can see the anthers which release pollen on the wind.
Ironwood was blooming, too. It has somewhat short male catkins (shown) and tiny, red-tipped female flowers on the same tree (monoecious).
Poison ivy’s new leaflets are even prettier than some flowers.
Lots of other new leaves:
The distinctive shape of tulip tree leaves makes them easy to spot:
These leaves quaked a bit like aspen, but turned out to be cottonwood, I believe:
You can see where maple-leaved viburnum got its name. It’s very crooked branches and two-foot height kept it from looking like an actual maple, though:
Witchhazel still has the wooden bases of its winter flowers visible:
Japanese honeysuckle often makes oak-leaf shaped lobes on its lower leaves, particularly in shade:
Something odd was up with the crown vetch, I have no idea what made some of its leaves white:
Solomon’s seal is out, though not yet blooming:
But the highlight of the trip was my very first beaver. It made a loud noise with its tail, like someone dropping a large rock in the water. I spotted it swimming about 20 feet from me (and, of course, have a terrible camera for wildlife).