Pussy willows are a sure sign of spring, but what are those tiny
fuzzy creatures? The kitten-soft fur of a pussy willow is actually insulation
for a flower bud, and protects it from the frosty night time temperatures.
According to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, pussy willows are dioecious,
meaning there are both male plants and female plants, and only male
plants produce the fuzzy flowers, called catkins, in this case for cats’ tails
(from the old Dutch word for kitten katteken). Catkins usually don’t rely on
pollinators and simply release their pollen into the wind, where it may or
may not land on the female flower parts. The flowers on female plants look
like greenish hairy caterpillars. /LAURA KEIL
This poor robin did not seem to be a fan of the April Fools’ snow fall that turned out to be no joke. He appears to have puffed up his feathers, a process called rousing, to help protect himself from the chilly early spring temperatures. He had taken shelter in a tree, hoping spring arrives soon. / ANDREA ARNOLD