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seeing green

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While the tips of the twigs on my tree continue to open up and stick out little green tongues, I've begun to notice tiny hints of green elsewhere. 

Check out these buds.


Do you see the little green patch on the underside of the top two flowers? It certainly isn't purple.

Here's another twig.


See how the tiny flower closest to the tip has green in the center? And there's also green on the base of some of the other flowers there. When I spotted this cluster of flowers, I thought it looked like a dusting of green on the flowers. I was wondering of it was dirt or dust on the underside from the street or something so I started turning the branch over and around (gently) to look more clearly at the other sides of these flowers. Guess what I found on the other side.


OMG! That's full on green in there. What is that doing there? Are these turning green? Or were they green and then turned purple?

I went back to my pictures from the weekend before the terminal buds opened and I hadn't even started thinking green yet. I found this picture of a developing flower.


What struck me about this is the color of the tips of the tiny flower petals coming from the buds. Those on the top of the twig have purple tips, but on the bottom, the tips are green. See it? What's that about??

wondering about weather

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Almost a month ago, I was wondering what my tree needed to start blooming. Was it merely waiting for more sunlight and less snow? The answer seemed to come after one rare March day of sunshine and non-freezing temperatures, when I saw the first signs of change in the buds on my tree. Springwinter returned (it's a Boston season: spring on the calendar; winter outside) and I concluded that the blossoming would most likely be slow and steady. Then it snowed again. And seemingly miraculously, the buds looked further along the next day. Then we had clouds, wind and rain, and they continued to bloom. And now, the last four days have been crazy warm and sunny (70 degrees yesterday!) and I'm wondering what effect this has had on the buds.

So here's how the buds on one branch looked on April 5th, a full week ago, still in the midst of 40 degree, cloudy days.


Here are the buds from the same branch on April 9th, halfway into our mini heat wave.


And here's how they looked yesterday, after four days drinking in the sun and warmth of spring.


This is a dramatic change in one week. The brown is almost entirely gone. I feel like last week they looked like brown buds with some purple stuff coming out, whereas they now look like bundles of purple flowers bound together with some brown paper. Like a bouquet you might buy in the store.

Here's another branch on April 5th:


And yesterday, April 11th:


What a week for that twig, huh?!

So was all this progress due to the weather? Or was this just the natural progression of the process that started way back on the first day of spring? Was it progressing more slowly until the weather warmed up or is the beginning just slower than this part? I don't know if what I've observed is enough to answer these questions. But I have heard of "forcing" plants and flowers. As far as I know, it's a way of encouraging or tricking the plant to open up and start blooming earlier than it would normally. I think one way of forcing a plant is to give it some of the weather conditions it needs to get started growing again. So perhaps this great week of growth wasn't merely programmed in from the start. Perhaps the weather had the same effect on these buds that it did on most Bostonians this last week: the warmth on our faces and sunshine on our backs managed to coax us, once and for all, out of our winter havens and our weather skepticism. It's okay to come out now. Spring has truly arrived.

a flower bud

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Remember about a month ago, I showed you my son's sprouting bean plant.


Well, now it looks like this:


Wow, right?

Each week, I see more leaves unfurling from tiny buds.


But last week, we noticed a different sort of bud.


Two days later, it looked like this.


Whoa, that's not a leaf!

Sure enough, the next day, there appeared...


A flower!

S was so excited, he jumped out of bed in the morning when I told him his plant had a flower. There are now three more flower buds on the plant ready to open.

All this has gotten me thinking about the buds on my tree.


They're gonna be flowers!

I think.

purple rain

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The rain is amazing. Once again, it has managed to reveal so much more to me about my twig and the buds than the sun does. Today's rain revealed this:


There's so much purple, the buds look almost like berries!


Here's the bud cluster closest to my window that was one of the first to open and that I've been following in all my updates.  


It is now surrounded by twigs that look like this:


What a transformation from five days ago!

My tree must really like the rain.

opening buds

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After our April Fool's snow, we had a warm day with temperatures above 40 and sunshine. Did the buds survive the snow and continue sprouting their purple things?


Wow! Look at all that! There's almost as much purple as brown now. And check out the edge of the old buds. They look ripped, as if they are torn open when the purple stuff pushes its way out.


You can really see the tearing on this top bud here. Amazing!


Look, there's a bunch of shreds still left on the purple stuff of that one! Fascinating. I wonder if the bud also gets thinner so that it's easier for the purple stuff to push its way out. Or do the buds really just disintegrate, sort of like the roots of a baby tooth when it's time for it to fall out?

PS - Can I just say that the macro function on my camera is a wonderful thing! It has allowed me to look so closely at these buds. I've been able to see things I never would have noticed if I was only using my eyes.

slow and steady

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This is not a race, but still, I'm rooting for my tree to stay in the lead!

So here's how the buds looked yesterday after many cold and windy days:


And here's how the same bud cluster looked three days ago:


Not much difference, if any. But those buds in the left corner of the picture do look a little further along.

Here's another cluster from yesterday:


And the same cluster three days ago:



Finally, here's the tip of another twig yesterday:


And here's that same twig six days ago after some light snowfall:


That's definite progress!

There's more snow expected tonight, so I'm guessing these buds will stay in the slow lane for a while still.


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Back at the branch...

There's not much change to report. Here's how the buds looked on Saturday.


And here's how the same bud cluster looked this morning.


Hmmmm. It's been mighty cold 'round here, so I guess these buds are waiting until spring returns to send out any more purple stuff.

Elsewhere... I walked by some trees that I'd snapped some pictures of a couple of weeks ago. Back then, I took a tiny twig I'd found from a baby tree and was examining its structure.


Well, this morning, it's fellow twiggies still on the tree look like this.




they're everywhere!

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So just how far did the little purple things grow in two (rather chilly, rather cloudy) days? Here are some pictures I got on Tuesday.


Well, these dark dots are on almost all of the buds now.


They look like eyes opening.


The ones that opened first look like they have grape jelly oozing out of them.


What is that stuff going to be?! And if it is the flowers, will any of them turn into the galls that I've seen on my tree? That would be fascinating to see.

And I wonder what effect this morning's snow will have on their growth.


It certainly doesn't make me want to go out! I imagine it might affect them in the same way.

first day of spring

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And right on time, the swollen buds from three days ago have started to open!!


Little purpley things are in there!


They look like they could be teeny tiny seeds or the beginning of flowers. They're all bundled up in there and seem to be poking through the center of each swollen bud. This! is! so! exciting!

Here's one that is just about to crack. You can see a little dark spot at the center of the buds here, where the little purple seeds will soon be poking out. It's like watching a baby chick hatch. Come on, you can do it!


The lateral buds along the side of the branches are opening up too.


If you look real close, it looks like the buds are even fuzzy.


They are so different than they were just two weeks ago. And what a change from the buds on the broken off branch I found in the snow a month ago.

Hello spring!

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the flowers category.

field trip is the previous category.

fruit is the next category.

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