Sunday, February 24, 2019

First Crocus

I was outside today for a very short time as the wind howled and strew small limbs all over the garden. I was surprised to find these two pale yellow crocus by the front walk. The larger one was open when I first saw it but by the time I walked into the house for the camera it had closed up. 
The wind was so cold but the sun felt warm. We had gusts of wind up to 49mph. It wasn't pleasant to be outside. These little crocus were lured out by the sun.
Inside another orchid opened. It also enjoyed the sunshine. 
I hope you were able to enjoy some sunshine and warmth today too. Did you find anything new in the garden today?

Friday, February 15, 2019

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day - February 2019

I finally have some blooms to share. This month started out warmer than normal which helped to hurry things along a bit. We have even had a few days of sunshine. The response to the sun and a bit of warmth is that I have the first orchid bloom of the year. There are a bunch more buds but this one is the first to bloom. 
I had been wondering if I was going to get any blooms this year. My poor orchids summer outdoors but this summer wasn't a good one for them. I think they like it a bit more damp. I think this  year I might keep them inside all summer and only put them out when it rains.
Now on the more natural side of booms is this  Diane Witchhazel. She is sporting quite a few blooms among the ugly dried up leaves left on this shrub. I guess I could have cut them off since this shrub never wants to grow. It has stayed the same size since I bought it. Of course when it did a bit of growing the rabbits ate it. So I guess I shouldn't complain. It is fun to look out and see these blooms when it is so cold.
Finally, when the sun was out yesterday I missed the chance to get some good photos of my little batch of Galanthus 'Nivalis'. They looked so cute with their little selves spread wide open. I will have to wait for another sunny day.
You don't have to wait until spring to see more blooms. You can pop over to Carol's May Dreams Garden to see what others have blooming in their garden. 
Have a great weekend. 



Friday, February 8, 2019

Rain of Near Biblical Proportions

I know this doesn't look like much to those of you who get these kinds of rains often but here during winter with mostly frozen ground it was a big mess.
All of this water came barreling down the street veered off into the lot across the street and into our driveway.
Some of it backed up into the front yard.
The garage was spared because the water was gushing into the side yard. You can see the water rushing over the path to the right. The path on the left wasn't washed out but...
The right path was cleared of soil and mulch that was around the stepping stones. 
All the soil is at the bottom of the path. I will have my work cut out to fill in, re-mulch etc. 
Looking out the patio doors it didn't look much better. Water was standing on patio and the paths in back were also almost full.
At one point there was so much pressure on our old patio that along one of the cracks there were bubbles oozing out.
You can see how my flower beds have been enriched with compost and mulch so much they are much higher than the paths. 
The paths were nearly fully underwater. A first in my recollection. We have areas that often get some back up but soon runs off. 
The main problem is that the ground was too frozen to accept any water.
The side lot looked like a small pond. I hope we don't get any more rain for awhile. 
After the rain stopped a big blow brought winter back to us. All that didn't drain off is now frozen.
I just hope that the poor plants can tolerate all the freeze, thaws and now near drowning.
We wait for the next big thaw.


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

February Thaw

Yes, we are going through a nice thawing process after a couple of weeks of below normal temperatures. On our walk at Ouabache Trails Park where we cross a creek during our walks we could see how the receding flood waters and the sun is  melting the ice, a little.
Doesn't that moss shine like a beacon in the sun!
Along the creek you can see how high the water was before the water receded. 
The ice shelf on the shaded side isn't going to let go anytime soon despite the higher temps. 
The creek is opening. Just as well because we are to get a lot of rain in the next few days. There are already flood warnings out. The floods don't directly impact us except sometimes this creek covers the road and we can't walk our favorite trails. 
At home our moss doesn't get as much sunlight but it sure is liking these warmer temperatures. The sporophytes are taking advantage of the warm damp weathers. 
I hope  you all are taking advantage of this warmer weather. Maybe I should say I hope you are having some warmer weather now. What ever kind of weather you are having I hope you get to enjoy the rest of the week.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Interesting Winter Finds

 It warmed up a bit this week so I thought I would go out and do a few chores. Nothing exciting mind you because all has been frozen for so long. I needed to get outside. As I was surveying all the sticks that had been blown out of the surrounding trees I found a tip of limb from the maple tree with a cecropia moth cocoon attached lying on the ground.
 This is how long the tip is with the cocoon on it.
This is the length of the cocoon itself.
You can see how leaves were pulled around the larva to make the cocoon.
The Maple tree was already pushing out some buds. I would never have thought that except that the first part of January was above normal temperatures and the last of January was below. 
I didn't notice at first that there was a tear in the cocoon. I briefly took the cocoon inside to try for a close up to try to show the larva inside. My DB helped with this close up. 
I have no idea if the larva was compromised by hitting the path with such force that the cocoon tore. Or if a squirrel found it and bit a hole in it and decided that it wasn't worth the effort??? So many questions.
So I closed the flap over the hole and placed it in the duff near where I found it. Maybe if it is living it will make it to spring. 
My other find which was not far from the cocoon was an owl pellet. It was too cold to be outside long so I just took a picture of it with the ruler so I could see how long it was. 
As you can see it appears to be a ball of fur with a big tooth or claw. To the right of it was a piece of bone. 
I went outside today since it was so much warmer and was going to take apart the Owl pellet to see if there were more bones in it. It was no where to be found. Makes me wonder what happened to it. Maybe all that fur is down in a a vole hole keeping them warm???
Have you found anything of interest in your garden this winter?