Thursday, May 8, 2014

May Showers Bring May Flowers

It's a grey day and we've had some pretty good thunderstorms in the past twelve hours, so I thought I'd share a little bit of the sunshine we enjoyed last weeked.

So far, there are only crocuses and one johnny-jump-up in bloom... but I am still hopeful for more flowers before June!


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Walking in the Woods

The other day we went for a walk in the woods.  My daughter's favorite area is where there are quite a few fallen trees that make for good "forts" and jungle gyms. 

It's an area where the trees have fallen over time, in different storms. They lay every which way and crisscross atop each other. 

Several have gone completely over from the roots. The ground is very much gravel in this area and often their roots brought up large rocks... it's amazing how they've held those rocks in place in the air for a long time.

Interesting coloration in a large rock suspended and held into place by roots above the hole where an uprooted tree once stood.

It won't be nearly as easy to get there once all the underbrush and grass grows up, and since deer ticks and Lyme disease are synonymous with the area we live in, nightly checks for ticks is part of life from now until next winter has truly set in.


So Late Seems Spring

Winter is over, but the memory of it will remain for a long time. It was much colder than most years, with longer stretches of frigid temperatures than usual. It wasn't that it reached a record breaking sub-zero temperature anytime, but that there were such long stretches so much colder than normal.

It took its toll on even the hardiest of native plants. Many evergreen trees of every variety have large amounts of brown needles this spring. I don't think that I am alone as I anxiously await signs of life in some favorite perenials.

The little bits of green in this photo might mean Cosmos and maybe Bachelor's Buttons to bloom in the summer if they can survive the remaining nights of freezing temperatures.  Then again, they could just be weeds, in which case, it will be preferable if they are edible.

As I finally cleared away protective layers of leaves in some flower and herb beds the other day, there was joy for the bits of life beginning to emerge and wondering for the areas that are still barren. Most years, by the time I remove the protective leaves, the poor plants underneath are stretching upward, colorless for lack of sunlight.  This year, it will still be a few more weeks yet before we know the full extent of what survived and what succumbed. I am very grateful for everything that survived.

The poor, mistreated red rhubarb (not planted when it should have been, nor with good manure, then uprooted and moved less than a year later, and again, alas, no manure) is just poking through the ground. I wonder if it will ever grow large enough to pick for eating?

It's still colder than normal here and that makes it seem like spring is so late. I just hope most of the leaves removed today were protecting hardy natives, like wild violets and wild columbine, because they just might survive the freezing temperatures we still get at night.