I’m Not Dead Yet (See? I’m writing a blog.)

I found this little orange fruit growing on a tree nearby. (Not a great picture – my camera broke and I had to scan it. :-() I was convinced it was a tiny nectarine at first, but not enough to eat it and find out. Plus, I don’t think too many people grow nectarines in MN. After a lot of scouring the web, I began to suspect it was an apricot tree. Weird, since the little fruit was absolutely not fuzzy. But, it had an apricot-like pit, it smelled like an apricot, and, it tasted like a rather unripe one. Yes, I finally worked up the courage to try it. Hasn’t killed me yet. Probably not a super smart idea, though. Anyway, I’ll have to watch and see if they really do turn into real-looking apricots in a couple of weeks. On that note, I’m going to be heading to the east coast soon, so you probably won’t hear too much from me. But maybe when I return I can write a post on great white sharks. If they don’t eat me first.

Teeny Little Pink Butterflies

I have Candytuft flowers growing in my garden. I was looking at them yesterday, and I noticed how the petals on the flower all look like teeny little pink butterflies, bursting out of the stem (their bottom wings all point in). Seemed cute to me. Has anyone had candytuft in different colors? I thought they could be any color, but mine are all pink.

Spring is Sprung!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written anything on this page, but here I am!

Winter this year has been incredibly mild – at this time last year I was up to my knees in snow!

But this year spring showed up so quickly no one even had to time to hang their coats up.

Anyway, spring is here, and these are the signs:

  • First barge on the Mississippi river.  You can hear them blowing their horns at night.
  • A cardinal moved in to the yard – and hasn’t shut up since.
  • My dog’s nose is turning black again (it turns pink during the winter).
  • Dairy Queen is open! (Need I say more?)
  • Our maple tree has refused to yield even the tablespoon of sap that we usually get (we really had no tree-tapping season at all this year, it was so warm).
  • All the cars have their windows down and the convertibles have their tops off.
  • Baby buggies roll down the street all day long.
  • Beautiful flowers are blooming on bushes around the neighborhood, but invariably die when I try to bring them inside and put them in a vase.
  • There’s also this beautiful yellow bush that is in bloom everywhere, and at first I thought it was a golden rain tree (laburnum), but the flowers aren’t quite right. Here’s a picture – any ideas?

 

Summer Lilies

As summer gets hotter & hotter, more plants begin to come to life. One of the most noticeable and beautiful of these is the lily. Lilies bloom along every alley & in most yards. These large plants spread quite a lot, & don’t die easily. Most of them are tiger lilies, all black & orange, but a few are purple. Bees and other insects love them, not to mention people.

Rhubarb Finally Sprouting!

https://songofthewolf.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=1015After a long winter, seeing little plants sprout up in the garden is the nicest thing! The rhubarb has just started growing, & at first it’s a very funny looking plant, as the leaves are all shriveled up. It’s one of the earliest plants to start growing, & it grows very fast. In just 3 or 4 days it’s gone from being barely the size of my thumb, to about 4 – 5 inches tall. Some of the other newly sprouting plants are dandelions, lots of bluets, & even a few tulips. In just a few weeks, the ground has lost its dull brown hue, & become splashed with every bright color in the rainbow!

Maples Running

 The Maple trees here have started to run their sap. I tapped my tree a few days ago, & already have quite a bit of sap. However, when boiled down to syrup, it will hardly make anything. This year the tree is finally big enough for 2 taps, so there’ll be more syrup. Still, since my tree is a silver maple & not a sugar maple, there isn’t a very high sugar content in the sap. But because there was such a slow thaw this year, it’s hopeful that I’ll get a bigger batch of sap than the years before!

Heat Wave

Its’ 30° today – almost at the freezing point! All the birds, squirrels, & other animals are out (not to mention people), enjoying the warm weather – how sad is that?

The buds on the trees are all getting bigger, & the rabbits & deer down in the woods are happily munching on this fresh snack. Even though it’s only January, all the plants & animals are preparing for spring.

Leaves

I’ve always thought it was interesting how trees are all so different in the way they during the fall. The Elm trees are already half bare,while the ash trees are still mostly green. Even trees if the same type can drop their leaves at different times, depending on how much sun they get, whether they have a building acting as a wind block, & other things.

Autumn Joy Sedum

Almost all the flowers are closing up now until spring – except the autumn joy sedum. this flower is just beginning to bloom. It’s one of a few fall blooming flowers around here. It has a pretty short time to bloom, only 1 or 2 months, but in that period, the sedums are sprouting up all over. It has large pink flowers, & thick waxy leaves. Click here for a nice photo:46705cf5d68ae_28100n.jpg

Bees

Bees are buzzing around all the time, hopping from flower to flower. It’s super hot, which I think the bees like, as they tend to come out in scorching, dry weather instead of cooler & damper. All the clover & flowers make them happy. (-: There’s just about every bee species out, collecting nectar

Berries Everywhere!

Berries are everywhere! Raspberry bushes are in full bloom, Mulberry trees are leaving purple stains on the ground from fallen berries, & Current bushes are beginning to grow their little red fruits. The birds are having a great time with the new food supply, & for some reason spiders are attracted to raspberries. I often see them crawling around on the berries.

'a raspberry'

Colorado

I was on a road trip for the last week, so I couldn’t write. I thought I put up a post about that, but I guess something got messed up & it didn’t work. I saw so much cool stuff, like:

The most gorgeous mountain streams

With lots of waterfalls.

Lupines cover the mountainsides,

& spruce trees grow everywhere.

So do aspens.

Plus the mountain scenery is beautiful.

I also saw a bird I didn’t recognize. I couldn’t get a picture of it, but it was definitely a swallow. It had a white belly, neck, & chest, & green & blue on it’s back. They were all over, swarming around in groups of about 15 probably. Really pretty little birds. I’m thinking it might be a tree swallow.

Blooms in June

'the iris bloom'

Lavender blooms, larger than a softball, are opening up on the irises in my backyard. The flowers are frilly & sort of balloon out from the stems. The flowers are so heavy that often the whole stalk falls over!

Bleeding hearts are also beginning to blossom. Some of them flower early in the spring, but there are a few that are beginning to bloom now. Most of them are pink with white inside, but some bleeding hearts are all white.

Hostas

The hostas in my yard are huge. They start in the spring as tiny stumps in the ground, but they quickly bloom into large, leafy plants in several shades of green, measuring close to 2 feet in diameter. They don’t give noticeable flowers, although they are there; all plants flower at some time. Birds like robins & starlings like hanging out in their shade, too, searching for bits of food around them.

Lilac Bush Is Wilting :-(

'what the flowers look like now'

 It appears the lilac bush is done for the year. It’s only May but the blossoms are brown & crispy & falling off. The leaves are still thick & green though. The birds still shelter in it whenever they hear a noise or a dog walks by, but it is not stunningly beautiful & it does not smell so wonderful either. Lilacs are one of the earliest bloomers, but they also are one of the first plants to stop blooming. The bush is the birds favorite place to shelter in my yard; the thick clusters of leaves provide excellent places to shelter, as well as sweet-smelling flowers in the spring & twigs to make their nests with.

Bees

Bees constantly buzz around all over now. They dash from plant to plant, looking for a bit of nectar. They never notice me when I walk by, too busy in their search for nectar to notice anything else. Bees are responsible for much of the worlds pollination, because when they walk on flowers to get at the nectar inside, the pollen sticks to their legs & they carry it to the next flower they land on. Butterflies & a few other insects do this too.

Rhubarb plants ‘going to seed’

It was a super early spring this year. My rhubarb plants, which usually start to produce seeds June – August, already have big clusters of seeds on their stalks. The stalks with seeds on them are completely hollow inside, too. Rhubarb seeds take 3 years to be ready to harvest. It is actually a vegetable, & the part we eat is called the petiole. They need a lot of sun to grow, & quite a lot of space. But once they start growing, they are extremely hardy & keep growing for a long time.

'a rhubarb plant'