Tuesday, May 5, 2015

elderberry preparations, maple leaf buds opening, leaves unfurling

The elderberry flowers, once just a tight mass of eensies, are differentiating themselves into little sibling clusters. They’re going to need the room those little stalks permit because the berries we’ll be getting eventually take up quite a bit of real estate.


Out on the road, a sugar maple sapling is going hell-bent for leather. Here’s one bud just starting to open.


Here’s something I’d never noticed before: the pairs of leaves take turns on which way they face – each new year’s pair(s) line up 90 degrees off the last.


You can see it by the alternating direction of curve in the bud scars. Clever – more efficient use of light, I suppose, if you aren’t shading your own last year’s leaves with this year’s leaves.

The next closest stage I found...


At first I thought that would be a single leaf, but what do I know. I think there FOUR leaves tucked in there. This is a side bud, though – it might only be two. Hm.


This enterprising twig’s terminal bud had TWO pairs of buds just behind it. Go team maple!

And now, for how those leaves unfurl:



So those four leaves? They’re all coming out of one bud.


See what I was saying? One bud. Four leaves. Awesomeness.


I practically feel my maternal urges kicking in to action.


Once they open up, they’re all tender and droopy at first. They have to be pumped full of love first. By love, I suppose I mean some combination of light and sap. They look like butterfly wings about to inflate. I wonder if the presence of light itself triggers the chlorophyll to get going? Because these are still kinda red to me.


Be still, my heart.



And now to drift in the in-between places, the world between the worlds...


Aaaahhhhh...spring. It’s good for the soul, no?

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