Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring 2011 - v. 2.0

I had meant to get this posted last evening, but 2 sleeping cats in my lap made it very difficult to type, so I just decided to enjoy the purring cats. In any event, writing about the approaching spring is much more difficult today than it was with the sun and warmth of yesterday afternoon. I woke up this morning to heavy rain, hail, lightning and thunder and high winds. Kind of made me want to crawl back under the covers, except that I had an order to finish up and get to the post office.
A photo essay on spring, anyway. When we came home from church yesterday, these cheery yellow and brown crocuses were blooming. They weren't there when we left - such a nice surprise. You can also see the honey bee. They were all over anything that was blooming, especially the witchhazels.
These little blue crocuses were blooming in another sunny spot. These early ones aren't especially bothered by the cold weather and will be blooming for a couple of weeks.
This is Hamamelis (witchhazel) 'Rochester'. Always makes me think of the old Jack Benny Show when I hear that name. Not sure if it was named after that or the city. Lovely and delightfully scented nonetheless.

Cardinals aren't exactly a harbinger of spring, having been here all winter, but this guy was just sitting in the sun singing and I couldn't resist snapping his picture.

The Tibetan Hellebores are now blooming. This last picture I posted had buds, but not open flowers yet. This one isn't evergreen; it goes dormant by mid-summer, but it is the first one to be up and blooming in the spring. It's also quite a bit smaller than the others we grow. I don't think it gets much over 8 inches tall.

Snowdrops (galanthus) are predictably the first things blooming here. True to their name, they will often start blooming while the snow it still on the ground. If not then, they can be in bloom withing days of the snow melt, even before the ground seems thawed enough for them to poke their noses through. This is the double version, and you could see it better if I'd been willing to crawl in the mud a bit. That will have to wait until the ground dried up a bit.

This variegated pachysandra isn't quite in blooms, but clumps of it all over the yard are now in bud. Can't be long until blossoms.

And a sure sign of spring would be that the duck weed has reappeared on the ponds, even the ones that still have some ice on them.
And even though it's a bit colder today, I still heard the frogs on the ponds, singing their little hearts out this morning. I didn't have the heart to tell them that they'd better head back to the bottom and sleep for a bit longer. They seemed to be having such a good time.

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