Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Winter time tree observations

Mountain Winterberry



Hophornbeam and the moon
We walked in the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville this past week, my daughter and her friend, Nicole, and I.  The moon was high in the blue sky.  The male catkins were hanging from the end of the branches of the Hophornbeam tree.  These catkins will remain on the ends of the branches most of the winter.  The female catkins will emerge in the Spring.   If you want to go see these amazing Hophornbeams they live by the amphitheater at the Arboretum.  I will be going back this spring to see both catkins on the tree at the same time.

The shadows on the Winterberry tree that were cast by the low late afternoon sun caught my eye.  The berries are still on this tree.  The Winterberry tree that lives by my own house, at Priddy Woods, has had every single berry eaten away by a flock of Robins.  The Robins came in one day and ate all the dogwood berries and the Winterberry tree berries.  Robins do not usually come visiting at Priddy Woods; perhaps they were migrating.    I do think a few Cardinals had their share of the berries as well.  I love watching the birds enjoy the berries of winter.  I always ponder if birds that have red in their feathers seem to eat more red berries...hummm.

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