Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Winter Wednesday-Birds Nests and Bare Trees

I'm sure glad I didn't promise to feature lots of snow pictures in my Winter Wednesday feature.  Because, here on the edge of the snowbelt of upstate New York, in the northern United States....we still have no snow on the ground.

January 11.  I repeat that to myself, over and over. 

And today was sunny and 46 degrees.  Although, it was colder for a while last week, and is supposed to get cold again tomorrow.  So we could get snow.  I know we will eventually.

So, to celebrate a once-rare warm, sunny day (the two do not normally go together) I'd like to talk a little about bare trees.

When I was in high school, one of my teachers asked us to take special note of trees when the leaves are off.  "You'll see so much if you just look", the teacher said.

Ever since, I've always been fascinated by trees during their sleeping season.  The teacher is right:  you see so much.  Like, in the early spring, you see the sap rising.  You can tell by the color of the upper branches, which seem to glow.  And then, the trees start to flower.  Unlike ornamentals, your average oak or maple tree has a very small flower.  But they are large enough to make the upper branches glow once again.

I love that glow (especially the red glow) because it means that spring has arrived.  It's so pretty against a blue sky.

But what about the early winter?  What will bare trees show you then?  Well, one of the things you will see is....birds nests.  And maybe other objects of nature.

I am not enough of a birder to know what kind of nests these are but, on a walk on the Vestal Rail Trail, I saw some interesting objects up in the branches.  (these pictures were not taken today, but the sky looked very much like that today.)
This looks like several.  I assume these are nests - I find it difficult to use binoculars so I can not be 100% sure.  But that is my assumption.

Finally, something right out there on the edge.

If anyone has a guess as to what I took pictures of, I'd love to hear from you.

What do you love the most about bare trees in winter?

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