Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Signs of Spring

Happy first day of Spring!  I thought I'd share a few photos showing the many small signs of spring here on the Museum grounds.  First, a lot of wild migratory birds are back.  We get a large variety of songbirds, but my favorite harbinger of spring is the American robin:
Also, several wild Canada geese made their return earlier in the year.  There are a couple of mated pairs defending their nesting territory near the pond behind our Museum--so hopefully later this year we'll see some goslings:
Also hanging out at the pond are lots of pond turtles, basking on logs to catch some rays in the warm sunshine:
Trees throughout the grounds have new pale green leaves.  Some like this oak tree are loaded with tiny flower clusters called "catkins" (it's the green stuff hanging down):
This time of year, redbud trees burst into color with their pinkish-purple flowers:
Thanks to our amazing Horticulture Staff, we have lots of perennial wildflowers on the grounds including wild columbine, which look like fancy red and yellow bells:
Wild violets on the grounds come is several colors, from brilliant purple to this pale lavender color:
Jacob's ladder is a wildflower with delicate blue flowers:
 Several wildflowers simply pop with brilliant yellow color.  The first is ragwort:
This one is fig buttercup:
Many thanks to Ashley DeCarme in our Horticulture Department and fellow educator, Bo Baker, for helping me with plant identification!  Hope you enjoyed this taste of springtime in Virginia!  More "off the beaten path" in two weeks....


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