By Eilene Lyon
Spring is well underway in southwest Colorado. Let’s see what we can find in the yard and neighborhood. Weeds always seem to get the jump on everything else, especially the mustards.
Then there are the usual suspects.
Only a few flowers have bloomed in the yard.
But more are on the way.
A couple interesting plant facts: 1. Vascular plants actually have two separate life forms, the sporophyte form (what we notice as plants) and the gametophyte form. Pollen is a gametophyte and produces sperm. 2. Some plants are dioecious – having separate “male” and “female” plants (though it’s actually the gametophytes that have sexes).
We have two mature Rocky Mountain junipers (Juniperus scopulorum) on the property. On the northwest corner, we have our pollen producer. On the southeast corner the female cone (juniper berry) producer. The juniper pollen is so thick this year that when the wind blows, it looks like smoke drifting through the trees.
Let’s make a quick stop by the vegetable plot (about 100 sq. ft.). The salad greens are sprouting and a couple spaghetti squash plants are coming up, but not so photogenic.
Let’s venture out in the neighborhood.
And waaaay down the road.
Sterling swimming in the pond isn’t exactly a sign of spring. As long as it isn’t iced over, he’s up for a dip.
But he’d better be ready to skeedaddle!
I had hoped for a bird shot – we’ve had broad-tailed and black-chinned hummingbirds at the feeder, but they’re still a bit scarce and skittish.
Feature image: Narrowleaf cottonwoods (Populus angustifolia) in bud against a Colorado blue sky.