We’ve been watching the Weeping Willow twigs at Columbus Park, from the depths of winter through the spring. On February 24th, the twigs looked like this:
On March 29th, the buds were just starting to open:
A few days ago, on April 9th, the buds were open, and greenish catkins were growing along with tiny leaves:
Close up, the catkins looked like tiny corn cobs:
So, now we wait to see what the catkins produce. Pollen? Seeds? We’ll keep watching. Since willows’ male and female flowers appear on separate trees, it will be one and not the other.
Meanwhile, here’s something we’ve noticed about Columbus Park Willows. Black-crowned Night-Herons returned to Columbus Park a week ago. As their name suggests, Night-Herons feed when darkness falls, then try to sleep in lagoon-side trees during the day. This spring we’ve seen them sleeping in Weeping Willows — with their dense twigs and newly opened buds, the Willows are the best hiding tree in the Park.