Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Is it spring yet?

Signs of spring are in the air! (along with the pine pollen...) After a cold and wet weekend (a continuation of a cold and wet winter), Monday was glorious and today equally so! Yesterday Sparky and I went for a walk -- not our usual walk for exercise, but more of a leisurely stroll to see what changes had come with the warm weather. The redbuds have been blooming for a few days and now look to be at their peak. Here's a pretty one, with a Tedd Pettibon sculpture in the background.

Spring green is evident everywhere, as most trees are budding out and plants are emerging from the ground. The early blooming flowers are opening here and there, and white irises by the pond have been putting on a show for several days. We just planted them last year (I think) and there aren't many, but I treasure every one. I'm not even sure if they spread, but I hope so. In the same area we have Byzantine Gladiolas, one of my very favorites. The foliage is up but so far no signs of the beautiful magenta blooms, but it can't be too long off now.

As you might imagine, Sparky loves to take walks, and especially pond detours. The recent cold weather kept even this dedicated swimmer out of the water, but he's in and out all day now.

We have two kinds of violets coming up in the yard, and sorry, I don't know the names. (But I'll find out if you're interested!) One type I bought at a nursery and planted near the kitchen steps, and it has spread all over and is hopefully going to fill in betwen the flagstones where I can't get anything to grow. Too shady there for many plants, and I'm sure it doesn't drain well either, but the violets seem to be very happy. Yay! The ones pictured below are the wild ones that I've been nurturing. I keep weeding around them and each year they get bigger and right now they are blooming and so pretty! These MIGHT be called dogtooth violets.

But the best thing I saw on my walk was when I peeked in one of the nestboxes to see if anyone was making a nest, and not only was there a nest, but four perfect little blue eggs! I don't know if bluebirds in other parts of the country use pine needles for their nests, but that's what they use here. Their nests are so tidy and organized -- at least until the babies hatch out. I found another nest in another nestbox, but clearly not a bluebird nest -- it used different materials and looked thrown together haphazardly, at least when compared to the skills of Mama Bluebird. I hope we have a successful fledging -- I'll keep you posted!


paula said...

wow i feel like i've been right there with you and so surprised to see those eggs! what a cool picture and of course the sparky....making me smile.
happy spring!

Susie Flatau said...

Oh, Cynthia - I absolutely loved "taking a walk with you!" Your post of the trek and the photos (especially of the bluebird eggs!) thrilled me on this rather chilly WNY day. Gorgeous photos...I know you are in heaven on your land. hugs - susie

Cynthia said...

Thank you Paula and Susie! Thanks for reading -- and especially for commenting! ;-D

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