We're wrapping up our second year here at the Natural Capital, so these monthly reviews of previous posts are now going to be twice as long. But there are still many things we haven't gotten to yet...what have you been seeing outside lately? Leave us a comment and tell us what to look out for!
Tuliptree Flowers - Tuliptrees are one of the dominant species in the forests in and around Washington, DC. But because the trees are so tall, many people have never seen their flowers. They're blooming now, and you may find some falling on the ground even if you can't see them in the treetops. But the real treat is, you can drink their nectar.
Baltimore Orioles - Migrating right along with the tuliptree nectar are the orioles. Learn to recognize their pretty song and you may greatly improve your chances of actually seeing one.
Mountain Laurel - The gnarled, shaggy trunks of mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) make it a showy shrub at any time of year. But in late May or early June, they burst into flower.
Tufted titmice - These birds are in the Washington DC area year round, but (like many birds) they're nesting in May. Last year's post was inspired by catching a pair flying back and forth repeatedly to their nest to feed their young.
Blue flag iris - This gorgeous iris can be found in our local wetlands. It's one of the showiest flowers native to the DC region.
Oyster mushrooms - These are quite possibly my favorite local mushroom. They're not showy like chicken of the woods or early like morels, just a reliable, plentiful mushroom with a nice mushroomy flavor.
Serviceberries: We first learned these native, edible fruits as "Juneberries," but we're starting to think they should maybe be called "Mayberries" around here. (Does something already have that name, or is it just a place in tv land?) They should start ripening at the end of the month. They're scattered throughout the woods in the DC area, but you'll get the most fruit from trees that have been planted ornamentally...see our list of some of the best areas we've found.
Ruby throated hummingbirds - Need I say more? Love, love, love these birds and I'm always so happy to see them come back in the spring. It usually happens in May.