Goldfinches, Gold Flowers and Gold Buds: March 2021

Male Goldfinches will be a brilliant gold colour a little later in the season:

American Goldfinch (male) from last summer

At other times of the year, males resemble females though the gold colour starts to emerge in early spring.

On this day I had several females as I walked near the Bluffs at Glen Everest Rd.

American Goldfinch (female)
American Goldfinch (female)
American Goldfinch (female)
American Goldfinch (female)

Other birds:

House Sparrow (male) and Goldfinch
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Turkey Vulture
House Sparrow (female)

Coltsfoot is usually one of the first plants to emerge in early spring. The flowers appear long before the leaves. Coltsfoot is widespread across Europe, Asia and North Africa to China and the Russian Far East. It is also a common plant in North and South America where it has been introduced, most likely by settlers as a medicinal item. The plant is often found in waste and disturbed places and along roadsides and paths. In some areas it is considered an invasive species.

I was delighted to see it at the Bluffs:

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)

Very few tree or shrub buds are green. Sycamore Maple is an exception.

Sycamore Maple

By spring, they take a goldish-green hue and this is how they appeared today:


Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)
Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)
Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)
Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

Other botany:

Manitoba Maple (Acer negundo)
Manitoba Maple (Acer negundo)
Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)
Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica)
Missouri Willow (Salix eriocephala)
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) from last year
Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila)
Butternut (Juglans cinerea)

Bluff area scenes:

Brown-lipped Snails mating

NATURE POETRY

The warring hosts of Winter and of Spring
are hurtling o’er the plains.
All night I heard their battle-clarions ring
And jar the window panes.                              – Christopher Pearse Cranch (1813–92)

Miles Hearn


1 thought on “Goldfinches, Gold Flowers and Gold Buds: March 2021

  1. Lisa Volkov

    Ah, the very earliest beauties of spring! Precious birds, gorgeous buds, snails mating (!) dogs being walked–even some very early flowers. But where is the Skunk Cabbage? No matter, but if you see some…Thanks, Miles!

    Reply

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