Spring has sprung

moon phase Week of 04/26/2009 Fruitful day to plant above ground plants.

The weatherman promised some rain for the week, but as of Sunday night, the ground was still dry as a bone. Ground cover phlox Ground cover phlox Oh, it rained all right, and it rained hard, but not here. It went south of us. A little rain would really make the grass grow and the pastures green up. A few of the wild flowers are beginning to appear. The pretty hepatica stands four or five inches above the dry, dead leaves in the woods. Some of the petals are a lovely pastel lavender, while others are nearly white.

There are a few bright white bloodroots here and there but not too many yet. A little rain would make them pop, too. Equisetum Equisetum The Bloodroot is one of spring's early favorites. They always come before anything greens up, so they really stand out in the woods or roadsides. They get their name from their orange/red roots.

The blue bells that grow in the river bottoms are up about three inches. All you see now are the short, fleshy green leaves, but if you look closely, you can see the tiny blue flower heads starting to form. I'm sure if you asked them if they would like a drink of water, they would nod, "Oh yes, please."

Creek comes alive Creek comes alive One of my neighbors fenced off a corner of their pasture, and each fall they add some bulbs for spring flowers. After doing this for many years, the small corner of the pasture has turned into a real showplace of spring color. The ground is covered with beautiful flowers. Large patches of grape hyacinth, snow drops, Narcissus, daffodils, jonquils and crocuses. In spite of there being little to see that is colorful this early, this little pond of different colored spring flowers is a showcase of beauty. It's always something special to look forward to each spring. Very old barn Very old barn Naturalizing a piece of your property is a win-win ventureóboth wildlife and people benefit from such an enhanced piece of land.

Some of the wild birds have started nesting already. The mourning doves have built a small flat stick nest in a brush pile, and she snuggles down on two small, oval eggs. A pair of robins has built their nest in a mass of tangled dry Morning glory vines. So far the female has laid three pretty blue eggs, but she won't start incubating for a couple more days, until there are 4 or 5 of them.

Mama Cardinal Mama Cardinal The Canadian geese and Sandhill cranes are also getting down to the business of laying their eggs. Already I'm looking forward to seeing their youngsters when they appear in about three weeks.

A pair of shiny black Grackles is carrying long strands of dried grass to a spot in the thick green branches of a cedar tree where they are building a hidden nest.

The winter birds (juncos) left yesterday for their nesting grounds in the far north. They have entertained me all winter with their gentle beauty and subtle songs, but I won't see them again until they return next fall. No sooner had the juncos left than the white-throated sparrows returned. This morning I was greeted with their favorite spring song. "Old man-Peabody-Peabody-Peabody." It is one of my favorite spring bird songs, too, and is such a treat to my ears.

I hope that everyone is letting the songs of spring fix their mood for the day. Stop and listen to the changes going on all around. Treat yourself to the most beautiful music ever created in the songs of the spring birds.

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Comments

Debbie from from New Jersey on April 29, 2009 at 04:45:18 PM
Hi Mr Hazlett,
I moved back to Nj. this March. Nature and growing veggie's in NJ is something that I have missed for many, many years. Even though Spring is late this year. Your Page is so alive. I wish I had a yard so i could grow the things that I did as a child. Your page has helped me to see that I may be Blessed to get what I so desire as well as miss.You have a wonderful talent. Bless You.
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