Finally remembered my camera yesterday, so here are some better willow- budding pics.
Also, this great twig pic. It shows very clearly the boundary between the old/gray bark, and the new/ green/ photosynthesizing(?) bark. All of the new leaf-buds sprout from the green bark, none from the gray.
Quick snowstorm put down a couple inches on the benches this morning, so I may be off the foothills for a couple of days… Already sunny and melting though. I never cease to be surprised at how quickly the weather changes here, especially in the Spring.