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Signs of Spring

This past Friday was unseasonable warm for this time of year in the Washington DC area, so I took advantage of the opportunity to go out and do some shooting in the neighborhood. For these captures, I used a Panasonic GF-3 ILC camera with a Leica 45mm F2.8 macro lens.

Here is a photo of the fruits of the maple tree. The immature fruits are still attached to the branches. Their reproductive structures have completed their purpose in life, and are seen desiccated, hanging to the tops of the petiole. The winged fruits are beginning to ripen and will soon mature, as which point they will be blown off the stems of the tree to sail away to begin a new journey of their own.

Maples are endemic to Asia, Europe, and the United States. Although the genus, Acer, to which the maples belong, consists also of shrubs, we are most familiar with the tree form. Most maples are deciduous, loosing all leaves during their winter hibernation. Flowers appear during late winter and early spring. In the above example, the flowers have appeared before the leaves. The winged fruits will have begun to drop with the first appearance of leaves. As the fruits mature, they will turn from the above pink color to a light green, then to a deep green at maturity.

Here is an image of forsythia. Their bright yellow petals are clearly visible, as they imbue the bush with a golden glow. The common name, forsythia, is the same as its genus name, Forsythia. These shrubs are native to Asia, though many can now be found throughout the world as ornamental plants in gardens, yards, and along city streets.

Forsythias are deciduous shrubs, which flowers in early spring before the onset of leaves. The flowers are generally yellow, with four petals, joined at the base. After pollination and fertilization, the mature fruit is a dry capsule containing a number of winged seeds.

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