The mountain maple, Acer spicatum, is blooming now, its erect panicles of greenish flowers poking up through the round, rather large, slightly three lobed leaves. It is native to southern Canada and the US northeast, and far upper Midwest around the lakes, but seems rather rare in our area. In habit it is a multi-trunked small under story tree or large shrub. It’s leaves turn a brilliant orange-red in fall. It is seldom seen in landscaping and the nursery trade.
An oriental counterpart is the Ginalla maple, Acer ginalla, which also has greenish flowers, rather insignificant but numerous, and small, lobed, typically maple, leaves. It is probably over used, but it does have excellent red and orange fall color. Another oriental maple, the hedge maple, Acer campestre, is somewhat similar in shape and has good yellow fall color.
Politics: Recall campaigns targeting both Democrat and Republican Wisconsin state senators and representatives are underway. It seems our society no longer accepts winning and loosing as an end to political conflict, but seeks to have a constant campaign amid ideological warfare. Not a way to accomplish anything, or to foster democracy. Whatever happened to majority rule with minority rights? What’s next, sabotage and street battles?