Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bluebell Time

Towards the end of last week was reckoned to be the peak of the native bluebell season around here so we made a quick drive to take in the sights along the riverside.

 The blue is such a pretty sight in the woods where the trees are not quite leafing out yet.
There are masses and masses of these and I guess I was feeling on "overload" as to what to photograph next as I did not really take too many shots at all.
I was on the lookout for other good looking photo potentials and with the blue sky and somewhat still day I kept  trying to find something that looked good in the late afternoon sun. In this instance I liked how those white looking tree trunks show up on the far side of the river.
 This tree right by the river obviously loses a good deal of top soil every time the river is in flood stage. And yet it keeps on standing upright.
Back in my own garden I have been rewarded this season by a number of blooms on my own bluebells. These were planted in 2011 and quickly went into hibernation that season. Last year there were only two flower stalks total among the eight plants.  This year however all of the plants have flowers on them and this is the one with the most blooms. They are still nothing like the size that they are down by the river but perhaps it is a case of giving them time to settle in. And this year the spring bloom season is quite a lot later than last year with lots of cool weather (and snow even) in March.

Maybe another river walk is called for before the season is totally over.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Why we shouldn't underestimate nature

How long is the time between winter and summer? If I start the day wearing corduroy pants at what time is it reasonable to change into shorts? Whoa, this sounds like sensationalism but really it is a true reflection of what has been happening here lately.

 I may have shown you this view (above) that was the scene on my front yard on March 25 - yes, just sixteen days ago.
 And this morning, the same view. Wow.
Overnight spring arrived. Last evening as I drove down the driveway at 6.45pm I thought "darn it, I meant to take a photo of the cherry trees this afternoon" but I had not. Tuesday morning I had carefully examined both of the trees and there was not a single flower to be had but by early evening a few buds at the very top of one tree had opened up.
 When I raised the blinds this morning it was like wow, instant springtime! The two cherry trees out front were covered in fully open blossoms.
 Volunteer pansy and viola plants are happily blooming in the most unexpected places.
 Can you believe this one? Not even 1" high - I left my mug there for scale. What is keeping it alive? This afternoon I found another similar one just in front of the black iron upright post in the background.
 Out back the rhubarb plant is rapidly growing and the periwinkle is showing it's color.  The bird baths all had to get filled up and the birds started using them right away.
 One happy chore that announces the season is open is the annual first hanging of the hummingbird feeder. I have yet to see a hummer in April when, reportedly, the first sightings are made. But, in happy anticipation, I still try to hang the feeder out in the first week of April.

The spring season is easily two weeks behind what it was last year. Daffodils, cherry blossoms, periwinkle and more are behind schedule. But then there was all that snow in March.
Another less fun chore of spring is the cleaning of the electronic air filter. That is a time consuming one since they each first have to be soaked in the cleaning solution for 30 minutes, carefully hosed off and wiped down and then set out to dry for at least two hours. Once I get done with this post I need to bring them in off the front porch and re-install them so I can turn the air conditioning back on so we can sleep tonight.

Yes, it's whoa to go. The reason for the wearing of the shorts today was that the temperature got to the mid to high 80's  with more of the same promised for tomorrow.

I'll leave you with this last image of the daffodils and periwinkle taken this morning after the lawn got the second cut of the season.

Right now, at 8.36pm the outside temperature is 83 F (28 C) and I must post this and then go and re-install the air filters.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Easter Bunny Cometh

and other assorted seasonal trivia.

 Yes, indeed, the bunny did show up in time for Easter. Look carefully now.

 With the very cool temperatures we have been having the blooms on the plum tree have been looking good for longer than usual.
 We are always slow to eat the Easter candy in our home so I thought if I made a display I could get extra mileage out of it.
 Outside some of the spring bulbs are flowering. Oddly, for the scilla (bluebells) there are very short stems this year as if the flower buds were saying "oh, I can't wait for you stems and leaves to catch up - I'm ready to bloom now without you!".
Not that you can tell from this photo but the lawn had it's first cut of the season this morning. At 7.45am when the outside temperature was not yet above freezing. Oh well. It's only grass, it will grow back.

And on the second positive note for the day that demonstrates spring is nigh I watched as a very determined chickadee spent the afternoon going in and out of the birdhouse that only ten days ago had snow on the roof. It is indeed a desirable residence.