Arkansas melange

“Orphan” photos without a theme, except they were all taken in Arkansas.

The waxwing tree

The phone rang. A colleague upstairs called to see if I’d seen the flocks of cedar waxwings sweeping and swirling from tree to tree around the office grounds and adjacent campus. The birds moved almost as one; stripping the hollies of their berries and continually finding new places to roost. Waxwings are beautiful birds with their masks and crests. Look closely and you can see accents of bright yellow and pink in tips of their wings and tails.

TREEFULL - Birds outnumber blooms on the branches of this tulip tree.
TREEFULL – ┬áMasked birds outnumber blooms on the branches of this tulip tree.
DOWN -- Injured waxwing seeks rest in the grass.
DOWN — Injured waxwing rests in the grass. He fell in a sort of spiraling flat spin like an autumn leaf. Perhaps he was dazed after a collision? Sadly, an hour later, his head tipped forward. His beak to the ground, he expired.

Anticipating spring

The equinox that marks the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere is still 15 days away. No matter. Seems like everything else believes it to be here already.

SUNWARD -- Sunshine. Unseasonable warmth. Blooming trees and fragrant air. Who needs an excuse to be out?
READY TO POP -- If you hold your ear just close enough, you can almost hear the countdown to blooming.
BUDDING -- Tree bud ready to unfurl. Just a day later, some of its brethren had opened.
VIOLET -- The lawn's first violet.

More signs of spring

With highs expected to run close to 80 degrees this week, it’s hard to believe it’s still winter. Spring has burst out all over, but as the TV meteorologist reminded his audience this morning, the typical dates for the last freeze and last frosts of the season are still ahead of us. Nevertheless, spring is out of the box.

Fragrant wild fruit blossoms
These flowering trees have filled the air with incredible sweetness. ID anyone?
Poke sallet rising
Our normally precocious poke sallet was a little slow out of the gate this year, but it has made its presence known. The poke seems to thrive the scant soil that covers the Stanley shale. A potential grapevine location.
Wood sorrel
Sorrel is up and ready for pollination.
Tulip tree's full tilt bloom. (cell phone photo)
Yellow flower
Sadly, another beautiful spring flower in need of an ID.
Another beautiful weeping form blossoming tree. (cell phone photo)