They say that all year long some part of these Maple trees are red. The early spring is when I remember that, because Maples are some of the first trees to flower (and also to incite indignant allergic reactions in by doze (I mean my nose)). And my what bright bursts of red those flowers are. Wind pollinated, they don’t have to be big or bright enough to tempt insects into spreading their eager young gametes. Then again, they are gorgeous. You can spot all the Maples on your street right now by what almost look like red christmas lights clinging to their twigs. Soon they may grow bigger and fuzzier, resembling the Lorax Truffula Trees, as my friend on the Eastern Shore once pointed out.
So perhaps there are some insects involved as well?
Keep your eyes open, I found these today all over the snowy ground.