Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Gifts

The weather has been the greatest gift of spring lately. I realize I have complained a little too much about all that so I will try to refrain from whining any longer. Besides there has been nothing to whine about with this warmer than normal weather. Today we are getting one of those lovely spring rains that soaks in and makes things grow.  The rain has knocked off all the doubl blossoms of the blood root but I will still have plenty of flowers blooming this Friday the 15th when it is time for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.
 It seems that every flower that is a spring bloomer is responding to the warm weather. It is such fun.
 Not only are the flowers responding but the local resident hibinators are out and about. This Eastern Garter snake was not particularly happy to make Luna's acquaintance.
 I was wondering why Luna was hanging around the water feature. She even proceeded to dig trying to get the snake. I don't know what she was going to do with it when she caught it. This snake was sticking it's tongue out as if to say "nah nah nah nah nah" to Luna when we came to the rescue. 
 Other winter hibinators are trying to take over the mail box. I don't know how it got in there in the first place but it is taking care of the one cell of their nest that they managed to build this weekend while we were away. Today with the cool rain falling it didn't even want to move when I opened the door to retrieve the post.
 This weekend we had our first Falcate Orangetip butterfly in a long time. Unfortunately it wasn't in our garden but along a roadside where we were birding. There were several along this road. It was amazing to us because this isn't a butterfly that we get every year.  There were 6 flitting along the roadside. None but this one lit for even an instant for a photo op. My DB was very patient in trying to track this down.
 Another great sighting was a Trumpeter Swan. We don't often see these beautiful swans. It was hunkered down in the wind until we came upon it. Then it stood to take off. We saw no tags or bands on this bird. It must have been a wildling, young at that. It is amazing that these huge birds can fly.  Just look at the size difference between it and the Ring-billed gull standing in front of it.
I hope you all have been enjoying the spring weather.

18 comments:

ONG said...

Was going to say how much I liked the pics of the flowers until I saw that awesome snake. We only see one like very other year but man I love those things. Thanks for sharing!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

It sounds so lovely in your world right now. I've never seen that butterfly. Thanks so much for showing it to us. Yes, the snakes are out here too. We've been hot, but a cold front came through today. Good for the spinach and stuff.~~Dee

Cicero Sings said...

Two trumpeter swans hit a power line on Sunday near us and took out the power for about 1 1/2 hours. Felt very sorry for that.

Good you caught that wasp in the act ... before the nest got too big and she had her workers hatched and going!

You are ahead of us in spring revival though I have spotted a couple of butterflies.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Oh my.. that swan looked like a wooden statue until I really looked at it. What a cool shot. We have snakes around here too but dont see them often. Some lovely photos here. I was out today taking pictures of things starting to bud out in my area and the cherry trees in bloom. If only it would warm up & quit raining enough to enjoy it more. I say ENOUGH rain...:)

Rose said...

Great photos of the snake, Lisa! I can only imagine how determined Luna was to retrieve it for you. I never see snakes here--though I know they're out there--so I'm not sure how Sophie would react to one. This warmer weather really has perked up the garden. This morning I was so happy to see one tulip opening, and then as I walked around, I found more and some late narcissus as well. It's as if the warm weekend and last night's rain told them all it was time to wake up!

Laurrie said...

Snakes and birds and insects and spring ephemerals are all waking up and it is a wonder to see each year! I love the photos you got of your snake visitor.

Lola said...

We have the snakes also. And to think I had my hands right there.

Julie said...

WOW! The painting you did of the butterfly is amazing compared to the photo!
Me no like snakes!!!!! Yikes!
Love all your pretty little flowers coming in with your new warm weather...it's such a grand, exciting time!!!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

What a magnificent stand of double Sanguinaria! The snake is so cute. I wish I had one.

Floridacracker said...

Garter snakes make me all warm and scaley inside.
It was my first pet snake as a little boy.

Phillip said...

I've always been terrified of snakes. Fortunately, have not seen any in our garden in a long time. Lots of wasps though.

Q said...

Dear Lisa,
An amazing post! The Orangetip Butterfly made my heart leap! I have only seen one ever and not in my gardens. The Trumpeter Swan is so gorgeous. One of my totem animals... Happy you received rain. We have had a nice cool down thank goodness. I want to savor Spring not rush right through! The Spring kitchen garden also enjoys cooler temps.
Sherry

Jan@Thanks for today. said...

Isn't it just an awesome feeling to see the flowers waking up? I'm glad things are becoming spring-like in your garden. I planted 2 Bloodroots in my garden--1 last yr. and 1 this yr (got them from online nurseries & can't afford too many at a time!). The one put out a tiny little bud, and it finally opened and is so delicate. Unfortunately we were having work done in our yard and the workers got dirt all over it and even knocked off a petal )arrgh...I did get a photo but it wasn't as 'fresh' looking as it should have been because of that. I'm still waiting for the other plant to bud...perhaps it's not going to this year. Your 'double' is a beauty.

SandyCarlson said...

These are really wonderful. I love the way spring has come for a good, long visit out your way.

I am James. said...

Lovely display of flowers, and a wonderful butterfly, but snakes! no thanks, all we get here in wild East Anglia are Grass snakes, adders and slow worms, all of which are rare.

Layanee said...

I do love those spring flowers. Such a clean white. The snake, not so much but there must be critters for it to eat if it has emerged from hibernation. Spring has been cool here and yesterday's heavy rain surely made the grass turn green. Enjoy!

shirl said...

Thanks, Lisa. it has been nice here too. I can't believe how fast everything is growing just now.

Great to see the ground in your garden again. I agree with others that the snake stole the show for me here too. Could it have bitten Luna if she didn't back off?

I'm getting shivers and the thought of that wasp at your letterbox. I'm enjoying seeing bees and odd butterflies in my garden just now. Love that orange tip of yours.

Looking forward to seeing your full bloom collection for GBBD :-)

Barbara said...

Weren't you afraid to see the snake in your garden? Was it a dangerous one? Nice to see the butterflies in our gardens again, isn't it? Spring always spoils us with gifts. It's a wonderful time!