By: Mike Groenewold
It was a beautiful, calm spring day at Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area. Even work was a joy. Grant, my work partner, and I were trimming hazardous tree limbs from mature cottonwoods near a beach at Admirals Cove, near Lemoyne, Nebraska, and enjoyed a respite from the wind that wore us to a frazzle at Lake Minatare the day before. While working in our aerial lift unit we enjoyed a beautiful view of the lake and emerging cottonwood flowers in the trees we were trimming. If you are a nature nut like me, you might also enjoy this macro view of expanding staminate, catkins (male flowers). The flowers will soon elongate to six inches and pollinate pistillate capusules (female flowers) on separate trees. Cottonwoods and willows, unlike some deciduous trees are dioecious (male and female flowers are born on separate trees). By June 1, or a month earlier in this abnormally warm spring, the pollination process will be complete and cottony seeds will disperse from the female trees and fuzz up the landscape.
It’s a wonderful time of year to be outside and while you are there, take time for a close up view of your favorite trees…they won’t mind if you check out their private parts.