Tag Archives: spring

Squee! Another Sign Of Spring!

I glanced out the window as darkness fell….

and spotted a Robin at one of my bird baths. Yay!  Welcome back, Mr. Robin!

 

My First Spring Flowers

As you may have noted from my last posting, the weather this winter has been erratic to say the least.  My crabapple bush tried to bloom last month, two months early, and the buds got frozen out.  So that bush is a bust.  And the wild raspberries in my yard are trying to go for it too.  So there will be a lot less flowers and fruit this year and probably some dead plants as well. If it doesn’t get cold enough to put them to sleep they either freeze to death or use up their food stores and starve to death before spring is properly sprung.

I’m happy to say that it appears my bulbs have weathered this nonsense well (no pun intended) and are beginning their annual show. (Except for the daffys, which are early.)

Peaking through the leaves I haven’t raked off yet.

A purple crocus peaking as well.

My mini irises.

Even if they’re early, I still love my daffys!

My first ‘bouquet’ of daffys! I love their smell. It’s the scent of spring.

 

It’s Officially Spring

As the birds were calling an end to the day, my daughter and I were meandering through the yard enjoying the longer daylight hours to be outside.  Her sharp eyes spotted this beneath one of our hemlocks:

A Robin's egg!

A Robin’s egg!  And looking straight up we saw this:

The nest just six feet above our heads.

The nest just six feet above our heads.

Today I went to see if I could get a peek into the nest. But there was no way to get to the nest through the tangle of branches, so my husband brought a ladder for me to climb for a look from the outside of the tree. Of course, being the lover of heights that I am, I shook so hard the ladder was shaking and my husband claimed there was no way I could get a picture. HA! That’s what the ‘sport’ mode is for!  Unfortunately, mama bird had the nest well covered to keep it safe.  Can you see the edges?

I'm hoping that as the babies grow I'll be able to sneak a picture of them hanging over the edge of the nest.

The nest is right in the middle of the picture in the dark spot where the wee branch shaped like a ‘Y’ is. I’m hoping that as the babies grow I’ll be able to sneak a picture of them hanging over the edge of the nest.

Baby Robin’s!  Yep, it’s officially spring now!

Spring Is Working Its Way Forward

We were somewhat concerned about whether any plants would survive this winter.  Not because it was too cold, but because it was too warm.  The plants were fooled into thinking it was April in December.  My crabapple bush even bloomed.  And my daffodils were up waaay too early.  I still don’t know the fate of my shrubs and perennials, but my bulbs survived!  Unfortunately, before I could get pics of my crocus and small iris a rain storm blew through and flattened them. Fortunately I have pics from last year that never got posted! 😀  Enjoy the beginning of spring!

Lone crocus survivor from this year.

Lone crocus survivor from this year.

Small bulbous iris.

Small bulbous iris.

Bulbous iris colony.

Bulbous iris colony.

Beautiful crocus!

Beautiful crocus!

Beautiful white!

Beautiful white!

Hope your spring is treating you well!

A Wee Glimmer of Spring

It was zero degrees this morning.  There is constant snow on the ground.  And by Thursday night it will go down to -5 degrees.  For those of us with light issues and circulation problems, winter sucks.  Make it snowy with unrelenting cold and it seems that winter will never ever end.

But today, after another reminder to be mindful of where we are right now, to appreciate the small things, I took a few moments while eating to just sit and watch out the window. When was the last time you just sat and observed what was going on right outside your window? Hmmm?

Anyway, while sitting there watching the birds, I saw something that brought a smile to my face and actually brought forth a deep sigh of pleasure. Click on the pictures to get a better look!

Say hello to our harbingers of spring.  The American Goldfinch.  Notice the lightning and yellow sheen around their necks.  They are moulting into their summer coats!

Say hello to our harbingers of spring – the American Goldfinch. Notice the lightening and yellow sheen around their necks. They are moulting into their summer coats!

Oh, how welcome is this hint of spring to come!

Oh, how welcome is this hint of spring to come!

Spring Continues (while I lose my mind)

May has been a crazy month. (I don’t even have my May Box out yet!)  Saver of Bugs graduated from college last weekend (and all that entails).  In addition, for the past three years she has been taking stuff to school without bringing anything back (she spent the summers at school doing research).  Weekend before last, I went up and brought a van load back (turns out it was cheaper for me to make multiple trips rather than rent a truck).  And after graduation, we loaded our van AND my mother’s smallish van/SUV/sport vehicle(?).  Now it’s time for sort, sort, sort, pack, pack, pack.  She’ll be moving to Philly the first week of June (pretty sure).  And she’s disappearing for 5 days to meet up with schoolmates for a last group LARP (small GRRRR).  Someone just shoot me, K?

My poor garden is now a garden of knee-high weeds.  But there were some survivors of the harsh winter.  So I’m taking my pleasure where I can get it.

I had my son cut down the Butterfly Bushes to 18 inches.  Knowing my passion for Preying Mantis's, he collected all the egg cases he found.  I put them in various pots in the driveway near the garden so they wouldn't get crushed underfoot during my weed raids on the garden.

I had my son cut down the Butterfly Bushes to 18 inches. Knowing my passion for Preying Mantis’s, he collected all the egg cases he found. I put them in various pots in the driveway near the garden so they wouldn’t get crushed underfoot during my weed raids on the garden.

My Snow-in-Summer survived the winter and apparently some of the Mantis's have hatched.  There is a wee exoskeleton on one of the flowers.  The flowers are roughly the size of a dime.

My Snow-in-Summer survived the winter and apparently some of the Mantis’s have hatched. There is a wee exoskeleton on one of the flowers. The flowers are roughly the size of a dime.

Pink Catchfly!  This will be a new addition to my garden.  Wilted and partially dead on the clearance rack, I paid $1 for it.  It has bounced back quite nicely!

Pink Catchfly! This will be a new addition to my garden. Wilted and partially dead on the clearance rack, I paid $1 for it. It has bounced back quite nicely!

Star-of-Bethlehem.  You never stop learning with plants. This tough little bulb came with the house and self sows itself around the yard from time to time.  In all the years we have lived here, I never knew it closed up at night.  I'm digging beds for tomatoes on the side of the house and as the sun set behind the trees, the little flowers closed right up!

Star-of-Bethlehem. You never stop learning with plants. This tough little bulb came with the house and self sows itself around the yard from time to time. In all the years we have lived here, I never knew it closed up at night. I’m digging beds for tomatoes on the side of the house, and as the sun set behind the trees, the little flowers closed right up!

Like my Snow-in-Summer, this beautiful Columbine was a bird poop volunteer.  It has self-sowed itself all over my garden in gorgeous clumps of blue.  I look forward to this flower every year and I'm soo glad it survived the winter!

Like my Snow-in-Summer, this beautiful Columbine was a bird poop volunteer. It has self-sowed itself all over my garden in gorgeous clumps of blue. I look forward to this flower every year and I’m soo glad it survived the winter!

My first Iris of the season!  It was difficult to take this guy's photo with the wind blowing it every which way!  I was thrilled to see how well these survived the winter. They were a gift from my next door neighbor.  She was diagnosed with Alzheimers and after the death of her husband, her health declined rapidly and she is now in a facility rarely recognizing anyone and spending most of her days in bed.  It's heart breaking.  But she loved her flowers and I'll always remember her sitting in the grass pulling weeds and snipping spent flowers.

My first Iris of the season! It was difficult to take this guy’s photo with the wind blowing it every which way! I was thrilled to see how well these survived the winter. They were a gift from my next door neighbor. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and after the death of her husband, her health declined rapidly. She is now in a facility, rarely recognizing anyone and spending most of her days in bed. It’s heart breaking. But she loved her flowers and I’ll always remember her sitting in the grass pulling weeds and snipping spent flowers.

Another Iris from my neighbor.  This poor thing got bent down to the ground somehow and was curling up to the sun to bloom.  Both this stem and the previous one are now in a vase in my kitchen perfuming my air with their lovely scent.

Another Iris from my neighbor. This poor thing got bent down to the ground somehow and was curling up to the sun to bloom. Both this stem and the previous one are now in a vase in my kitchen perfuming my air with their lovely scent.

Another garden denizen going about her duties.

Another garden denizen going about her duties.

A gift from crow friends.  A message is winging its way here.

A gift from crow friends. A message is winging its way here.

A lucky shot of our crow friends all together.  We have had a pair making their home here for years.  Late last summer one of the adults went MIA leaving a lone parent to raise 4 young.  I'm not trained enough to be able to tell who's who, so I don't know if this is the parent with a new mate and one of her young from last summer, a parent and two young, or just three of last year's kids.  They are very interesting and intelligent birds.  They are also quite skittish this year so I've been having trouble getting a shot of them together.

A lucky shot of our crow friends all together. We have had a pair making their home here for years. Late last summer one of the adults went MIA leaving a lone parent to raise 4 young. I’m not trained enough to be able to tell who’s who, so I don’t know if this is the parent with a new mate and one of her young from last summer, a parent and two young, or just three of last year’s kids. They are very interesting and intelligent birds. I love watching them work together.  They are also quite skittish this year, so I’ve been having trouble getting a shot of them together.  I will be keeping an eye out to see if any young are brought to the yard this year.

Wish me luck on keeping my sanity over the next couple of weeks.  If life would just pause long enough for me to handle moving crap only!

Spring Has Sprung!

I was out hanging my bed on the line, enjoying the sunshine, listening to bird song and I looked around and realized, “This is it! Spring has arrived!” It brought a smile to my face.  Below are some of the things that assure me Spring has settled in.

The American Goldfinch's mottled molt has gone from this...

The American Goldfinch’s mottled molt has gone from this…

to this, a bright, brilliant yellow.

to this, a bright, brilliant yellow.

The earthworms are up in the top layer of soil, churning away.

The earthworms are up in the top layer of soil, churning away.

My Grape Hyacinths have burst into bloom.

My Grape Hyacinths have burst into bloom.  (Those little round lumps on the dead Hyacinth stalks are young seed pods!)

My late Daffys are blooming too.

My late Daffys are blooming too.

My Lilac bush has begun to bloom, but this year there are only a small hand full of blooms.  Did the late freeze kill them off?

My Lilac bush has begun to bloom, but this year there are only a small hand full of blooms. Did the late freeze kill them off?

Not to be out done, the yard is full of wild violets giving the grass a purple haze.

Not to be out done, the yard is full of wild violets giving the grass a purple haze.

And where would spring be without the ubiquitous dandelion!

And where would spring be without the ubiquitous dandelion!

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But you know what really nailed it for me today?  The bold and sassy song of the male House Wren calling the ladies to come investigate his awesome abode.  My son painted a small birdhouse many years ago and we hung it on our front porch.  Every year since we have raised at least one, but often two, broods of baby wrens.  A bold and curious bird, it has no problem setting up house next to us humans.  The babies when they fledge will get into and all over anything we have on the porch.  My houseplants have taken a beating some years when the babies decided they were ‘toys’ for their amusement.  Say ‘Hello!’ to Mr. Wren:

Look carefully!  You can see the a stick he is bringing to build the nest.  But can you also see the sticks on the left sticking out from under the eves?  He will push and shove some very long twigs until they snap or slide out of the sides of the birdhouse.  When he's done there will twigs sticking out of both sides of the birdhouse.  Male wrens will build a couple of nesting sites to offer the ladies.  The female wren will decide which she prefers and will put the finishing touches on the nest.

Look carefully! You can see the a stick he is bringing to build the nest. But can you also see the sticks on the left sticking out from under the eves? He will push and shove some very long twigs until they snap or slide out of the sides of the birdhouse. When he’s done there will twigs sticking out of both sides. Male wrens will build a couple of nesting sites to offer the ladies. The female wren will decide which she prefers and will put the finishing touches on the nest.

Will this be The One?  A female wren checking his work.

Will this be The One? A female wren checking his work.

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I hope where ever you are in the northern hemisphere, Spring is finally showing her face to you as well!