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Early Spring
It's March and your bike is still collecting dust.  Do yourself a favor and take a peek outside.  Daylight is hanging around a little bit longer now.  It's not as cold.  You might even catch a glimpse of the sun!

If that wasn't enough to get you emerge from Winter's slumber take some inspiration from nature's early risers.  

 The Indian Plum, Oemleria cerasiformis (olm-lee-ria: after August Oemler; ser-ass-if-or-mis: cherry shaped) is one of the first signs that Spring riding weather has arrived.  

The early bright green leaves are easy to spot against the background of winter's brown.  Take a closer look at the upright lance shaped leaves.  Notice the tassel like clusters of white flowers.  Male and female flowers are on separate plants.  The resulting fruit is edible but bitter until fully ripe.  The First Nation peoples used the twigs and bark medicinally to treat a variety of ailments.

                          Indian Plum mid-May


Another early bloomer is Red-flowering Currant, Ribes sanguineum (rye-beez: Arabic term for rhubarb; sang-qwin-ee-um: bloody).  It's showy blooms attract hummingbirds and makes a nice ornimental native plant for the garden.  I've had good success with cuttings stuck in the ground and transplants.

The fruit is edible but unspectacular.