That's what our daughter said when we got out of the car. The reason was all around us, the resin wafting from the buds and unfurling leaves of black cottonwood.
Leaf bud and female catkin.They grow to impressive sizes, creating wildlife habitat while living--
In early spring they drop sticky bud scales and dead-caterpillar male catkins. Later on, the female catkins produce masses of fluffy seeds that make snowdrifts next to curbs.
here, notably, nesting platforms for Bald Eagles. The reaching hand arrangement of upper branches allows for the construction of some colossal nests.
After death cottonwoods continue to provide, with day-roosts for bats, and foraging, nesting or hibernating spots for any number of vertebrates and invertebrates beneath peeling sheets of bark . Most conspicuously, dead cottonwoods develop into prime snags for cavity nesting birds and mammals.
How many generations of Northern Flickers have nested here? A true family tree.
But this comes much later on. For now, they sure smell nice. I love the smell of cottonwood in the morning. It smells like...spring.