Purple Finch & Springtime Blossoms: Rejoicing as Sleeping Beauty Awakes . . .
Â Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus) in Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)
It’s been a raw and chilly April in Vermont, and yet springtime songbirds, undaunted by the lingering chill, have flocked to my garden in search of sustenance. Some species are merely passing through, but others will settle and set up summer residence. This month’s standout is the Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus, pictured above), with plum-stained plumage and a sweet, rich, warbling song. An occasional winter-guest at my bird feeders, the Purple Finch may be scouting for nesting territory (learn more about this beautiful native species at Cornell Lab of Ornithology, here). I am grateful for the brilliant-colored beauty and musical backdrop provided by my winged, garden guests and the delicate buds and blossoms, decorating my hilltop.
Â Harbinger of Springtime: Native Pussy Willows (Salix discolor), Shimmer Like Grey Pearls on a Misty Morning
Â With cold, grey days and bare branches on trees, I find my eyes drawn to even the slightest hint of color. Blossoming maple —ruddy tipped twigs glowing against low clouds— stain the hilltops a subtle shade of raspberry. With cooler-than-usual temperatures, native Pussy Willow (Salix discolor) and shrubs likeÂ Vernal Witch-Hazel (Hamamelis vernalis), have extended their early-spring show. I love how the early-season buds and blooms catch light; like drops of berry-colored jam and sweet, golden honey in the sun . . .
Â A Flower I Normally Associate with March, Vernal Witch Hazel (Hamamelis vernalis) Continues to Seduce with Luminous, Golden Beauty and Honey-Sweet Fragrance
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