The sunlight was pouring down through the still-open canopy, illuminating the baby Red Maple leaves that had just burst from their buds. The branches looked as if they had ignited with tongues of flames.
Backlit by the sun, the still-translucent baby leaves resembled stained glass with the colored light pouring through.
The twigs of the Red Maple saplings ended in elegantly overlapping bud scales, out of which exploded a cluster of ruby-red unfurling leaves.
The Striped Maples, too, offered buds of exquisite beauty, although of a subtler hue, a pale jade-green overlaid with dusty rose. The ends of the twigs held a trio of downy plump buds, secured by bud scales of a deep wine-red.
More of these lovely pink buds were held aloft in pairs along the moss-green twigs.
There's a huge Nannyberry shrub on the shore of the pond, loaded with buds that have opened to reveal not only the glossy emerging leaves, but also the still-tightly-budded flower cluster nestled within.
There's a stream here that flows from surrounding mountains down to the pond, and the banks of this stream hold uncountable numbers of Dutchman's Breeches plants. Most of those plants held no flowers or only tightly budded ones as yet. This was one that came close to blooming today.
I followed that stream to where it entered the pond, then searched a nearby rise where in other years I had found Round-lobed Hepaticas with remarkable colors. My search was not in vain. Hepaticas typically bloom in shades ranging from white through lavender to purple, but here were blooms of a most unusual baby blue. Such a pretty and quite unexpected color!
And wow, look at these! Such a deep-purple merging toward magenta, another really unusual hue for hepatica.This shore is the only place I have ever found hepaticas blooming with such a saturated color, and I really didn't know if I would ever find them here again. Today was my lucky day!