Wash of Color

The first wash of early spring color arrives at the tips of tree branches as buds swell, then open into distant flowers. Up close some of these tiny flowers are truely stunning.  Below are one of the earliest and most colorful flowers of spring - red maple.

Color isn't the only beauty arising from the branch tips this time of year. The intriguing textures of aspen catkins and pussy willow buds attract the eye as well.

I sometimes discover unfamiliar catkins and flowers on the ground, broken from a high twig by the wind or a feeding squirrel. Linking the flower with its tree then becomes an interesting investigation. Binoculars are helpful. Below are some of these orphaned flowers whose parentage I have yet to discover.