This spring I’ve been paying attention to trees and other plants as they grow their new foliage here in Minnesota. They do this every year, of course, but it happens rather quickly, and we can easily miss what happens between the bare branch stage and the fully leafed-out trees. This is the end of an Alder branch photographed at Taconite Harbor on the North Shore. A few dark brown cones from last year are still attached. This year’s catkins, which are actually the flowers of this shrub, are bursting out from the end of the branch. A few of the new leaves are just beginning to emerge.