March 27, 2010

First Day of Spring

Some of you might be thinking/wishing that it was me who posted this sign. It wasn't, but Phillip and I kept an eye out for the camera while exploring the park on the first day of spring. Sorry to say that we didn't find it.
It was warm enough for this Mallard couple to be out in the sunshine doing their thing and they didn't care who was watching.
                                                                                                                                                                 But it was still cold enough for there to be ice on Duck Creek, making for a lovely contrast to the above scene. 
The sap is running!
A sure sign of spring.
Temps above freezing during the day....
Temps falling below freezing at night....
Makes the sap flow in the maple trees.
Wisconsin is a leading producer of maple syrup. 

Cattails at the water's edge.

This is how we all feel about the arrival of spring.

Not sure why, but I had so much trouble
with alignment and spacing while working
on this post. I give up.

March 19, 2010

March Is What You Make Of It

If you live in zone 4, it's hard not to notice the incredibily brown landscape we experience this time of year. I've often said that if I had the opportunity to spend some time in the sunny south, it would be for the entire month of March. Truth be known, I really don't want to be away from home for that long.

As I was driving today, there wasn't a single purple crocus to be seen, but I saw this small purple building on the grounds of a golf driving range. I've no idea why they decided to paint it purple, but I'm glad they did.

A little further on down the road, I spotted this yellow iron wheel leaning up against the weathered gray fence. Notice the white bird house with the red roof on the tree.

The first little town I came to was Freedom and it was here that I saw the yellow/gold dome of Saint Nicholas Catholic Church. Not exactly a daffodil, but pretty all the same.

I've no idea why the colorful t-shirts are painted on the side of this old building. Maybe they sell them when the weather is warm.

What started out as a drab drive in the country ended up proving that color can be found if you look hard enough, even in the month of March.

Did you hear about the Boulder, CO woman who has her neighbors complaining? The 52 year old woman was gardening wearing only a yellow thong and pink gloves. Apparently, it's legal under Colorado state law to garden outside topless.

March 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - March 15

The 15th of every month is Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. If you think you'd like to join in, please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens and find out how easy it is to be part of the fun. We all appreciate you, Carol.

Hen and Chicks
Waiting for the glacier to move through.
Produces 12" tall flower
stalks in early summer.

Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
There can never be too
many of them in the garden.

Achillea 'Pretty Belinda'
Grows well in poor soil.
That's why I love it so.

Rock garden blend of sedum.
Come back later to see pink and yellow blooms.

All the pots feeling ignored and
waiting for love.

Acorns in the wren house?

Can't wait to see what your garden looks like in March.

March 10, 2010

My Pledge To You -- No More Talk Of Snow

This is the last time you'll see the word snow in any of my posts until the month of November. Even if we get another two feet of it, I'll be silent on the subject. It can't be avoided in photos, so just pretend the white stuff isn't there.

The warmer weather has gotten me out walking in the neighborhood again and that's a good thing because otherwise I might have missed seeing this unusual fruit tree. Does anybody know what kind of tree produces red fruit like this in the month of March?

Wisconsin has more than 65 types of wild birds and here's an unpleasant fact regarding these birds. It's estimated that 39 million birds are killed by cats each year in our state. Really now, how do "they" come up with these numbers? This pretty northern cardinal was sitting on the arborvitae in our neighbor's yard.

Meet Chloe. She's the guard dog who lives at my friend's house. Who needs United Security Services when you've got Chloe?

The common cattail is native to North America and it's not unusual to see this species growing in the wet ditches of our neighborhood. I was fascinated with them as a kid and I still am today. This particular stand is just down the street from me.

When it come to spring
all is not hopeless here.
The daffodils have made an appearance.
They're shy and only reveal a  little
of themselves at a time. 

This prickly pear cactus is hot stuff
and it's ready to come back to life.
Hard to believe that in three months
it will produce pretty yellow flowers.

Thanks for joining me for a walk in the neighborhood.

March 5, 2010

Still Having Fun In The Snow

The calendar says that we're inching closer to spring, but when I look out the window it looks a lot like winter. Weekend before last, Phillip and I went to Pamperin Park to do some exploring. The first thing we did was make our way over the bridge that crosses Duck Creek .

We found this tree with big fuzzy buds. I thought they looked like the furry catkins of a pussy willow tree and he thought they looked like tiny rabbit's feet. I remember this tree having pretty white flowers last spring which makes me think it's some kind of dogwood.

Some green was spotted, so we pushed away the snow and found this moss. Green never looked so good to me. Wisconsin has about 400 native species of moss and I don't know where to begin finding out the name of this one.

This cedar tree has been attacked by a woodpecker and it's prognosis for a long life can't be good. Trees with wounds like this are susceptible to insects, diseases, fungi and bacteria. The woodpeckers that I sometimes see in our area are red-headed, red-bellied, downy, hairy, northern flicker and pileated.

These mossy-covered handprints were in the concrete near the bridge. We wondered who they belonged to and made up our own stories. Phillip thought it was a fossil and I thought maybe one of the workers building the bridge left the imprints although they looked small enough to be a child's hands.

Instead of making our way back over the bridge, Phillip convinced me that we should walk through the open water where it's only a few inches deep.  We had fun, but our feet got a little wet and so we headed on home.

"It's spring. I feel it in me blood."

Ken Alexander