Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Snowstorm

Old man Winter isn't going away quietly.
Eleven days into Spring, we have snow.

I think someone forgot to forward the memo to Mother Nature that Spring is here!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Just Passing Thru.....

Eleven deer sauntered through my yard this morning.

I managed to get a pictures of 9 of them from the kitchen window.
I guess I live in a high traffic area.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


About this time of year, I get the green thumb bug.  I love growing my own veggies and flowers.  This year I tried a new seed starting set up.    I bought a grow light with a frame, a seed starting tray and water mat and the obligatory peat pots.  Usually when I try growing my own starter plants indoors near a window, I get tall spindly plants without much vigor.  And after they die after transplanting, I go to the garden center and buy their starts.  Hopefully this new system will be successful.  The light is adjustable so I can raise & lower it to eliminate the legginess.   We'll see how it goes.  But at least for now, I can play in the dirt, even if it is still cold outside.

My seed starting set up.

 Baby broccoli!

 Baby tomato plants!

The garden beds are ready for planting.
Peas were planted on March 19th.

Another new venture, a potato bag.
Just plant  your potatoes in it and dump it out when you are ready to harvest.
Filled with lots of rich composted horse manure.

 Rhubarb coming in nicely.

The asparagus bed which was planted last year.
I gave it a nice topping of composted manure too.
Can't wait til May 10th, our official last frost date!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Out of the Blue

This lovely Eastern Bluebird had an unfortunate collision with a window.

I had to examine him closely before burying him.
He' such a beautiful bird.
Rest in peace.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Backtrack to Winter

After three days of short sleeve weather in the 70's,
winter returned with a vengence.
Last evening we had severe storms.
Storm moving in at sunset.
The temps plummeted into the 30's and we had spitting sleet this morning.
Sleet on the forest floor.

The Spring Beauty wildflowers look pretty cold.

Fog was rising out of the warm creek into the chilly air.

But I found this antler.
I'm glad I braved the cold.
The woods always have a reward for the adventurous.

Signs of Spring

The latest wildflower is blooming now,
the Spring Beauty.
Our wildflower season is underway!

 And the cultured flowers are blooming too!

And these mallards were paired up and setting up housekeeping on the creek.
Spring has sprung!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Snakes Alive!

 This little garter snake crossed our path while out walking today.
Today was unseasonably warm so I guess he decided it was time to come out of hibernation.

Garter snakes are one of the most commonly encountered snakes.

Only about 18 inches long and pencil thin,
he was quick to slither under some leaf litter.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Signs of Spring

Today is the vernal equinox.
Spring officially begins at 7:21 pm.
And there are some encouraging signs that it is on its way.

Almost overnight, the forest floor has sprouts popping up.

Buds are peeking out on some plants.

This delicate little bloom is the Harbinger of Spring,
one of the earliest wildflowers.
It is also called Salt & Pepper.

It is tiny and inconspicuous, only a few inches tall
with blooms no bigger than a dime.  
It is easily overlooked, but truly a sign of Spring.

Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Tonight is the night of a supermoon.
The moon hasn't been this close to the earth for 18 years.
It will appear 14% larger and 30% brighter.
Did you notice?

The March full moon is called the full worm moon 
or the full sap moon.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The End of a Long Hard Winter

Winter is waning, but is slow to release its grip.
Walking the woods in early Spring reveals how hard the winter was.
There's always a few animals that don't make it.

Deer bones

Deer skull
Raccoon skull

Another deer skull
Hope they had fulfilled lives.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Skunk Cabbage

Not all wildflowers are beautiful and sweetly fragrant.
One of the earliest wildflowers is the skunk cabbage.

Skunk cabbage grows in swampy areas.
This patch was popping up in an area swept clean by last week's flooding.

This is a skunk cabbage bloom.
Not a very pretty flower.

The reason it is one of the earliest blooming wildflowers is its ability to give off heat.
Enough in fact, to melt any snow near the plant.
 Inside the bloom it can be a toasty 70°.

As you might have guessed from its name,
the plant also stinks.
Once the flower wilts, the leaves will begin to grow,
some reaching 3 to 4 feet high.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Up from a long winter's nap

Bo & I encountered a groundhog today.
Probably just out of hibernation.
He was out roaming the woods by the creek,
when he was so rudely disturbed from his wanderings.

Bo chased him and he promptly climbed a tree.
Did you know they can climb?

Its not their first choice of defense, but he was too far from his den,
so up he went.

Would you please go away and take your dog with you?

As soon as we were safely out of range he took off for safety.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Spring has been slow coming.
And we've had lots of rain and flooding.
But I've noticed the bluebirds survived the winter.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Shed Antler Time

Look what I found on today's walk.
 Whitetail bucks shed their antlers as the days grow longer.
In our area, most are shed in February & March.
A closer look shows this is a 3 point antler, probably off a young buck.

Age is a critical factor in growing large racks.
During the buck's first 3 years, his rapidly growing body is utilizing most of his nutrtional intake.
Once he reaches maturity at 3 years, the nutritional surplus goes to antler development.

The  base

The point of attachment

This is a recently shed antler, due to the pristine condition.
Once antlers are shed, mice & other critters gnaw on them for the calcium.

Unfortunately, the lure of antlers means few Whitetail bucks
live long enough to reach their full antler growth potential.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Spring is in the air

and a young possum's thoughts turn to love.
These two were out in the rain this morning.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

More Candid Camera

Here's a few more shots from the scouting camera.

White-tailed deer wandering by

Our buddy, the possum is back

Frisky squirrel hopping by

2 raccons checking out the handout