Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Still Looking

for Spring.

 We're waiting to see a more springlike view than this.
 The suet feeder is in hot demand; sometimes it looks as though they are using a number system while they wait because as soon as one bird flies off another takes it's place right away. And if they can't get a spot at the suet they go look on the ground underneath.
I bought a brand new camera with lots more bells and whistles than I'm used to using. So I have to practice and practice and practice. This morning I was trying to take photos out of an open window and it was cold so I kept adding layers of clothes. How funny is that top layer! In reality I should be using two hands for the camera but it blocked the logo on my top layer and it was so suited to the weather today that I put my left arm down so you could see.

The poor osprey looked very cold and miserable on their platform today as they wondered if they flew north too early.

But I'll keep looking and hoping that any day now spring really will appear.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Looking for Spring in all the Right Places

We had the Spring Equinox four days ago but it seems Spring was a little shy about coming to the party...
 These daffodils are usually among the first to bloom in my garden; I can see buds so doubtless they are trying hard to be ready for Spring. The dried long stalks are from last year's New England asters and you can see shoots coming through for this year in the left front corner.
The Stachys byzantina (lamb's ear) is beginning to poke through the debris left from last year.
 Wishing for cherry blossoms! There are some buds but I'm not thinking we are going to be seeing the tree full of the frothy blossoms any time soon.
 The reliable chives are 3" - 4" high already even though the grass in the background looks pitiful.

But in a sure sign of spring the ospreys are back from wintering over in South America. Last year I got hooked on watching the live ospreycam that the Chesapeake Conservancy sponsors. I did not find out about it until fairly well into the season so this year I am looking forward to watching the entire process - usually it begins with the arrival of the male osprey who starts the nest building process. We did a screen capture around midday today and the first few sticks for the foundation of the nest have been gathered just this morning as last night the platform was bare of anything save the one osprey. It was fairly windy on the Chesapeake today and by the end of the day some of these twigs have disappeared.

If you'd like to watch the nest building, egg laying and sitting, egg hatching, chick raising and more then go to http://www.chesapeakeconservancy.org/Osprey-Cam and be prepared to get hooked on watching these wonderful birds.

I have cast an eye on the hummingbird migration map and see that they are on the way also. According to that map the first ones are spotted in my state any time within the next week. However in my back yard it is quite a few weeks more before I am seeing reliable visitors to my feeder. Gosh knows there is nothing at all in my garden right now to sustain them.

Last week I bought myself a new camera and started a six week photography class so I am looking forward to being able to post much better photographs of my natural habitat this summer.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Where's the Green?

It is just as well I didn't invite St Patrick over this morning to chase the snakes out of my garden as they would have been pretty difficult to find.
 This was what I saw looking out the upstairs landing window this morning.
 Last night we were expecting a quartet of fraternity brothers in off the road from their springbreak roadtrip. I guess they got a little held up because of weather as it was quite late by the time they arrived. They come from Atlanta - what can you guess about their experience for dealing with snow?
They got an opportunity to find out about clearing snow off the car before driving away.
 Hard to believe that this cherry tree usually is covered in blossoms by the first week in April  when I measured 8" of snow today, only two weeks before April.
 Guess I'll find my green on the plate at dinner tonight when I serve green vegetables with the traditional corn beef.

Happy St Patrick's Day!