Ballet of Buds

After the dormancy of winter, some of the first signs of returning life are provided by the swelling and opening of the buds on trees and bushes. The new leaves and flowers unfurl with all the grace and fluidity of a ballet in slow motion. Like a dancer who leaps into expressive and dynamic movement from a still poise, the re-emergence of leaves is an annual spectacle that is the original rite of spring.


Click on an image below to view the gallery.

This female cone (or flower) of a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) on West Affric is surrounded by new needles that are just emerging from their bud sheaths.
The moment of release – new leaves of an aspen (Populus tremula) bursting from their bud in Glen Affric.
New leaves of a hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) opening in spring on Dundreggan.
Male flower buds of bog myrtle (Myrica gale) on Dundreggan. Bog myrtle is dioecious, meaning that male and female flowers are produced on separate plants, and the flowers appear before the new leaves in spring.
Hazel (Corylus avellana) is the first tree to show new life in spring, when its catkins appear in late February or March. Here, the catkin buds are just about to open on this tree in Glen Affric.

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