To me, the action as a naturalist is downtown. It’s not that hard to find something to appreciate in a pristine forest (assuming that there are any left). The challenge is to find the beauty under our feet and above our heads in the parking lot.
So if you look up in Hoyt Street Alley, you’ll find this eastern cottonwood (a poplar like the aspen) turning luscious caramel buds into gorgeous catkins.
|pictures: eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides) bud to catkin (flower) , Hoyt Street Alley, Stamford Ct. April 2005|
Some of the other local trees with catkins are from the Betula (birch) clan: the river birch, paper birch and alder (male alder catkins are the long ones: female are the shorter redder ones).