There is a Lilac bush in my front yard that is opening up gorgeous lavender blossoms. The buds are a deep magenta-purpley color, but when they open up into those tiny flowers, they are a very light lavender. The birds love the bush — it’s thick cover of leaves offers great protection for them when they get startled. It’s flowers are one of the strongest smelling around here; when there are a bunch of lilac bushes in one place, it’s all you can smell. Nectar-eating insects such as bees & butterflies love it. They are extremely hardy; my bush has been blooming beautifully for many years. When they stop blooming later in summer, they provide a nice shade bush too.
The buds that are on all the trees are now opening into leaves. They’re bright green, & no bigger than a kernel of corn. Leaves are actually many colors, such as red, & orange, but the chlorophyll in them colors them green. In the fall, the tree stops making the chlorophyll, & the leaves show their real colors, before they fall off. Coniferous trees (pine trees) do not lose their needles during winter because they are small, & lightweight, & do not burden the tree as much in the winter. Pine trees often live where it is very cold, & their small needles are useful for living where there is less light & it is colder, as the tree needs less light to make food. The same is true for cacti, because they live where there is very little water.
The buds on the maple trees are opening. It’s a nice sign of spring, but it means that the sap from the trees will turn yellow & taste so bitter that no one would want to eat it if it was made into maple syrup. There wasn’t a very long tapping season this year, as maple trees will only give sap if the days are above freezing and the nights are below freezing. This year, it turned warm so quickly that we had very few nights below 32° F, and the trees didn’t give much sap. Kind of a bummer, because I only got about a cup of sap from the silver maple in my back yard I tapped. Since it takes 40 cups of sap from a silver maple to make one cup of syrup, a cup of sap equals about nothing at all. The buds are very pretty though. They are scarlet and look a bit like miniature roses.