Paper Birch trees are starting to release their winter seeds. The catkin in focus has some of the winged seeds just barely hanging on. These shorter (about 1 1/2 inches) female catkins were pollinated last spring. The seeds have developed over the last seven months. Now they take flight on the wind.
We are seeing these winged seeds covering the ground like shadows under birch trees now. However, with such persistent snow this year (another 4+ inches yesterday, and a heavy snow is falling while I type), the seeds are being obscured by fresh snow layers.
I am guiding a day dog sledding trip this afternoon.