Early Spring – The Flowers (Part 2)

It wasn’t long ago and my spring flowers were mere nubs in the ground. Well, things have certainly changed and now I’m seeing the first blooms! The crocus always seem to be the first to produce a bloom. Perhaps it’s because they have almost nothing in the way of leaves, so they focus all their energy on the lovely flowers they produce. I have two colors of crocus in my garden as shown here:

Crocus

Of course, it won’t be long and more flowers will make their appearances. I’ll keep you updated as more flowers create a riot of color in my backyard. Spring flowers are always so welcome because they signal the end of winter.

Now, if only the weatherman would get the message. We’re supposed to get snow tonight. It won’t hang around, but the very idea that it’s coming is a reminder that winter hasn’t quite made a disappearance yet. What are your favorite spring flowers? Let me know at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.

 

Early Spring – The Flowers

If you look around my house right now, you’d think it’s still winter. After all, we have plenty of snow (even though the higher than normal temperatures have melted a lot of it). Here’s what it looks like around my house right now:

SpringSnow

Sure, we have plenty of bare spots, but the snow banks are still quite high. With the temperatures we’ve had this week though, I think the snow isn’t going to be around much longer. Of course, the ground under that snow is still frozen and we’re only now starting to experience the faint beginnings of mud season—that time of year when one can lose a hefty boot in the muck with ease.

Fortunately, there are plenty of signs that spring is arriving. On Saturday I looked at the flower bed around our well. I could see the humble beginnings of shoots coming out of the ground as shown here:

SpringFlowers1

You can see three little red shoots in the middle of the picture. Those shoots will eventually become flowers. Today I looked at those same shoots and they’re much bigger. In fact, the amount of growth is incredibly considering the ground is still mostly frozen. Here’s the growth since Saturday:

SpringFlowers2

In fact, the entire hill is bursting with shoots. Everywhere I looked I found more shoots. Here’s another area and it has green shoots!

SpringFlowers3

It won’t be long and winter will be a memory around here. The flowers are always the second sign of winter’s demise (the first being buds in the woods). So what is spring like where you live? Let me know at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.

 

Early Spring in the Woods

I’m sure many people are ready for spring. I know that I am. The ground is getting muddier by the second and the large drifts of snow have that decidedly tired and dirty look. Of course, winter will hang around for a while yet. We’re supposed to have another snow storm tonight. Just how much snow we get depends on the vagaries of nature. I don’t mind the snow; just don’t give me any ice.

Today was sunny and warm; well, warm for this time of year. I think the temperature got all the way up to 40 today, so there was more than a little melting underway. After checking my e-mail, getting all of my morning chores done, and making sure my wife didn’t need to go to town, I decided it would be a fine day to get up into the woods. I didn’t actually get there until afternoon, but I was still able to get quite a bit done. I keep cutting until the saw runs out of gas, then I start lugging the wood down the hill, 80 pounds at a time. Did I mention that my day in the woods normally involves walking six or seven miles (half of which involves lugging this 80 pound load)? It isn’t a bad workout for a 50+ year old man. This is the view from the hill where I’m cutting wood now.

WoodsToday

A day in the woods wouldn’t be complete though without some time spent looking at nature. I didn’t run into friend badger today. In fact, badger isn’t my friend and I try to give him a wide berth. I did see Woody though. Woody is the pileated woodpecker that hangs out in our woods. I tried to get a picture of him, but he’s shy. However, here’s a picture of his current favorite tree:

WoodysTree

Actually, Woody has a number of trees he attacks, most of which are snags like this one:

Snag

I have a personal rule that I don’t cut any trees that someone is using, so I’ll leave this snag in place. Eventually, someone will move into the holes that Woody has made. I’ve found all kinds of interesting things in trees over the years. We have several bee trees in the woods right now and I depend on the bees in them to help pollinate my garden and trees, so I definitely won’t cut the bee trees down.

One of the more interesting things I noticed in the woods today is that the buds on some of the trees are starting to swell. Of course, this is a sign that spring is near. The berry brambles are also turning quite red; another good sign. Here are some of the buds that I saw today:

SwellingBuds

I hope you enjoyed your tour of the woods today. I promise other trips as time allows. The woods is one of my favorite places to go. We not only get wood from there, but also a number of food items. I’ll show you some of them as I gather it this summer. Let me know about your favorite places in nature at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.