A rather agitated article in the UK Guardian predicts with breathless anticipation that they will certainly have an explosive, spectacular spring, and blames the cold winter for a late start. Yet the scenes actually described hardly support that level of optimism:
I decided to visit Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown, to see how spring is progressing here in New Jersey.
Certainly you would not expect to see a cyclamen in flower! Quite frankly I am astonished it survived the winter.
Dwarf Iris and Japanese Andromeda have also jumped the gun. Typically they bloom at exactly this time...in Maryland, not New Jersey.
This maple in front of the post-colonial mansion, now park headquarters, is experiencing advanced decay.
The deep fissures will allow insects to invade, among other problems indicated by such scarring.
although most have dropped. Like the locust trees, this species threw all its energy last year into producing enormous crops of seeds in a vain effort to reproduce before they expire.
Unless we stop poisoning the atmosphere, there isn't much prospect for future generations, whether arboreal or homo sapiens.
This woman is plainly baffled by the extraordinarily early flowering. Note, she is wearing short sleeves and sandles in the middle of March, a day that was predicted to have a high of 75 degrees but was closer to 80.
The presence of the lichen make this specimen a good candidate for the BALDing syndrome - Bark Atrophy Lichen Decline.
Some of the older trees on the outskirts of the gardens aren't labeled, and I'm not sure what they are, absent leaves.
For a while when it first began to appear, I wasn't sure whether this reddening of trunks and bark was due to a growth on the surface...
The hole in this trunk is extreme but in general it's becoming more and more common to find holes where the base of a trunk meets the ground, which isn't a good sign for stability.
I have always had an intense aversion to mahonia. I think they look nasty with their sharp stabby leaves.
So, I wasn't too sorry to see the classic discoloring which is a symptom of exposure to toxic greenhouse gases.
This trunk belongs to a Redbaron crabapple. It's not going to survive that kind of cracking for long.
As I am writing this I am listening to the health care debate, live. It is sickening the ludicrous waste of time these legislators squander to stand up at the podium and recite talking points, verbatim, one after the other, attempting a slightly different inflection each time, to be SPECIAL.
Aauggh. Never mind. Here is a recently planted acer saccharum, a sugar maple cultivar with deeply scarred bark.
Evergreen shrubs such as this elaeagnus x ebbingei have the classic symptoms of foliate that has damaged stomata, and cannot photosynthesize to produce essential chlorophyll.
The leaves here too have started to turn dry brown. It is the same as starvation- they shrink, and shrivel.
Perhaps the robin realizes the pigment of these leaves reveals exposure to nitrous oxide, sulphur dioxide, and aldehydes.
He may be contemplating an uncertain future which is in the hands of humans too selfish, stupid and greedy to even attempt the most modest conservation of fossil and biofuels.
I apologize to you, Robin, for my murderous species.