Returning last week from a holiday spent in North Carolina, we couldn’t help but notice that the trees are mostly in full leaf now. Departing a week earlier we saw the oaks just coming out of their winter buds and a few other tree’s leaves still bundled up tight, like the elms and mimosas.
The dandelions that were left blooming are now dusting their fluffy seeds wherever the wind will carry them. Probably more fodder for next year’s early spring ham and dandelion dinners that are popular around here in central Pennsylvania.
Driving south through Maryland we relished the sight of red bud trees in full bloom. On the return trip north the same trees were full of greenery and barely showed the beautiful purple-violet blooms from the prior week.
In eastern North Carolina the azaleas and dogwoods already finished blooming before we got there, thanks to a cold snap, while our PA azaleas have just enlarged their flower buds so that the color is showing, yet the blossoms are not quite open. Dogwood blossoms are out in their full glory.
Traveling 500 miles one-way is a long trip no matter who is driving or whatever the route. We celebrated our safe journey by visiting with dear friends, tasting some really fantastic grouper and triggerfish, and finding a car load of marine fossils that date back at least a million years.
If you’d like to find your own fossils and have an opportunity to be in eastern North Carolina, stop by the Aurora Fossil Museum where you can see a nearly complete ancient whale, lots of shark’s teeth, and many more fossils from this locality. On May 26, 2007 the annual fossil festival over takes the town with a parade, a pageant, fossil collecting, music, food, and even an auction. Visit the museum’s website to see the auction items, including a marvelous Carcharocles megalodon tooth that is being raffled!