Friday, March 20, 2015


As I sit looking out the window at falling snow - a lot of falling snow - it seems this first day of Spring is Winter's last gasp.  Let's hope that's true and Winter will slink away after this final hissy fit!  Days like this make me impatient for Spring to be here in a no-nonsense way.  This post is going to be mostly pictures, and I hope these imagess give you a moment or two of sunshine and color:>)


Here's a reminder of what winter looked like.




Bloodroot Wildflowers are some of the very first to appear.

The beautiful leaves come later - flowers first:>)

The Rue Anemones come right along with the Bloodroot but reach their peak after the short-lived Bloodroot flowers are gone.

Hepatica flowers are tiny, low to the ground, and relatively unobtrusive so look carefully to find them.  They bloom along with the Bloodroot and Rue Anemones.



Chinodoxa looks like a tiny Hyacinth and it blooms with the Bloodroots - very early and a welcome splash of color against the brown earth.



 The earliest of the early birds is Skunk Cabbage.  It has an internal heater that allows it to melt it's way through snow and ice.  I can find them as early as the second half of February, mostly in March.  They give off a bad odor to attract flies and other insects that act as pollinators.  These are wetland plants and won't grow unless their feet are really wet!

 Although the waterlilies come later, I love the beautiful, new lily pads as they reach for Springtime's warm sunlight.  Leaves can give as much color and prove spring is here as much as flowers can.

Trees and shrubs add their colors to Spring.  Spicebush flowers are a cheery yellow, and the shrub is sometimes called Wild Forsythia.





 Dogwood and Redbud trees grow wild throughout the woods and bloom pretty much in concert with each other.  They make the woods look festive.


Leaves add to the feeling of warm days and life abounding.  The Shagbark Hickory trees are getting new leaves:>)



 Things are happenign with mushrooms and animals, too.   The Morels show themselves; Canada Geese arrive and check out nesting sites; chipmunks run around gathering food.  I especially love the tiny Carolina Wrens that sing, full-voice, all day long - such perky birds!

 Wood Anemones begin flowering a couple weeks after the Rue Anemones begin.  The Wood Anemone's are harder to find and the flowers are not around as long as the Rue Anemones, but they are very similar in appearance - lovely wildflowers but treat them with care and don't dig or pick.

 Virginia Bluebells thrive in damp ground.  They grow in lovely colonies along stream banks and in wet fields.  My wildflower garden has, over the years, produced some "sports" - changed colors in some plants - that are more pink and white than the extraordinary sky-blue of most of the plants.

 Yesterday I snapped this picture of a pregnant Mommy Eastern Gray squirrel.  She's probably very close to giving birth so I didn't have the heart to chase her off the bird table.



A couple days ago I saw a Red-winged Blackbird (Male) on the bird table.  We've NEVER had a Red-winged Blackbird here; they are wetland birds that nest in stands of cattails, not forest birds.  In all the snow today, I saw a pair of them and quickly got a few lousy pictures just to document it.  I was getting ready to take better, more focused and planned pics when something scared all the birds and they were gone.  Fingers crossed they come back and I can take my time to get a good picture or two.  Meanwhile, here is a sampling of the not-so-hot images and the snow on the bird table - first day of Spring!



  Yesterday we saw our first transitory Fox Sparrow,  They are larger than most of our sparrows and beautifully colored.


Well, I could go on and on but this is probably more than enough for now.  I truly appreciate all of you who make time to visit.  I hope you enjoy this taste of Spring :>)