Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Spring at Last!

The last of the snow is finally gone, after a consistently cold and fairly stormy period from January into April. The ice sheet remnant in the photo was caught, about to disappear, on May 11. The snow was pretty much gone everywhere else a month ago, to be sure; this spot is on the north side of a parking garage on the UConn campus where a huge pile of snow gets dumped from cleared lots. Ice always lingers there for longer than it does elsewhere, but it's pretty unusual for it to last into May.

The cherry blossoms were out the other week, and this week the apples are in full bloom. The weather has actually been very warm recently (20 F above average temperatures on a few days), so the growing season is catching up rapidly. I'd say that the plants are only a week or so behind schedule at this point, versus a month late back in the maple sugaring season.

The bees are really taking off at this point, although they were delayed for so long that I don't think colony sizes will be large enough to really take advantage of the earlier phases of the spring nectar flow. The weather has also been unusually dry lately, which won't help nectar production, and could lead to a pretty poor year for honey in Connecticut.

The other day in Glastonbury, Ct, I ran across some nice patches of Polygala paucifolia (Fringed Polygala), on somewhat open slopes in pine/oak woods. This plant seems to be fairly rare in this area and I don't know of many localities where it occurs. The color of the flowers is unlike anything else that blooms on the forest floor, and the plants stand out from quite a distance.


Monica Swanson said...

Thank you! I just found this blog. Keep up the good work! Saw some pink lady slippers today in Farmington.

Matt said...

Thanks, Monica! I also have Lady Slippers blooming here in Mansfield, which actually seems slightly early (I think of them as being out around Memorial Day).