Spring this year has been coming in fits and starts. Twice my crocus came up (first yellow, then purple) only to be flattened by cold snaps before I had a chance to enjoy them (but not before I took their picture). Daffodils and one hyacinth are blooming now in one spot near a stone wall, but it's in a place I hardly ever go so I forget about them!
In just the last few days the grass has really made an effort at turning green, but a couple weeks ago, little patches of clover like this one were all the green to be found.
Meanwhile, the trees (and shrubs) have been getting busy either flowering or budding out. Among the first were the speckled alder (Alnus incana) catkins. The long, caterpillar-like ones are the male catkins (flowers), the round pine-coney ones are last year's female catkins, and the tiny, knobs that you can't really see in the picture are this year's female catkins. A couple of weeks ago, you could shake an alder branch and see orange clouds of pollen billow away. Today when I shook a branch, all the male catkins fell off. Their work is done and now it's up to the pollinated female ones to incubate their seeds.
We saw these little flowers on one of our hikes this weekend: beaked hazelnut (Corylus cornuta).
Here's one of last year's fruits that give this shrub its name.
Another exciting site we've had this spring is bald eagles. We've seen a pair or more on several occasions, flying right above our house. We're hoping that they are getting ready to nest down by our river and that we'll see more of them over the summer.