I have always associated these with spring. They turn into those yellow beards with the pollen and are really high in vitamin C. At least that is what I am guessing these are. These are out towards the old dump and I didn’t see as many as I saw out at Jakolof. Something I noticed this year too was that I didn’t see any willow roses. I wasn’t in a ton of places but where I was at I usually saw willow roses. Maybe the bugs that create those just weren’t as prolific this year.
Comments from LEO Editors:
Temperatures in Seldovia have been above normal for much of 2019. Other observations in Seldovia document unusual budding on willow and black currant bushes, as well as unusually abundant growth of highbush cranberries.
Justin Fulkerson, Research Botanist at the Alaska Center for Conservation Science, writes:
I'm not too surprised by the observation given similar occurrence in Anchorage. I don't know the specific timing for Seldovia, but I would estimate bud emergence for willows and alders to be in early April time frame. Most Alaskan plants create flowers the summer before the next spring. This allows them to bud quickly and take advantage of short reproduction time of summer. Plants received the typical signals that winter was approaching and went into dormancy. However, soon after, we experienced a warming trend, which potentially mimicked spring, and brought the plants out of dormancy. Hence willow buds bursting with fuzz and a green up and elongation of flower buds started to occur with birch, alders, sweetgale, and cottonwoods. I did not see any flowers fully open to disperse pollen, so the warm temperatures were perhaps not long enough. The plants themselves are likely to not be harmed but the flower buds will probably die off and not produce fruit/seeds next summer. The willows I noted had less than half of their flowering buds fuzz out, so I expect plant reproductive success will decrease next year but not be a complete failure.
Daily Temperature for Seldovia, Alaska during 2019