Searching for Flowers

The long-awaited bling-bling of spring

The long-awaited bling-bling of spring

I had a road trip earlier this week and was struck by the paucity of natural bling-bling. It’s almost May. Where are the flowers? I ask this lachrymose question every spring, especially after we’ve had a pleasant string plus 20 °C (70F) days. It takes a long time for the ground to warm up, though at this time of year we already have sunshine from 6 am to 9 pm – with quite a long dawn and dusk atop that. So, the slow emergence of flowering plants is always an annoyance. Bees have been sporadically gathering sanguine flakes of pale pollen from crocus and willow blossoms, but our main spring nectar and pollen flow is still a month away. Typically, we expect billions of dandelions to yellow our yards and alfalfa fields around the 25th of May. Good colonies and good weather can result in 40 pounds of honey from dandelion in the Calgary area.

I mentioned that I had driven around Calgary and the surrounding region on a floral scavenger hunt a few days ago. I was quite surprised when I returned to our drive and saw a little sapling tucked away at a hidden southeast corner of our house. That’s today’s picture, the fruit tree with white 5-petal flowers, weighing upon it like late spring snow. There may be a lesson in this somewhere – stay home and smell your own flowers, for example – but I will do my best to ignore any implied trenchant messages.

About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a bee ecologist working at the University of Calgary. He is also a geophysicist and does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and Earth scientist. (Ask him about seismic waves.) He's based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
This entry was posted in Climate, Honey Plants and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.