A Hopeful Walk

This morning I filled the bird feeders, dumped the compost pail, emptied all the dead and dying fruits and veggies from my vegetable bins, and then walked around the yard to see what was going on. When I came home from grocery shopping yesterday, I noticed that our flowering plum trees had taken on a pink hue. It seems they are budding, and I wanted to see what else was showing promise for spring.

Of course my little furry companion went along with me. He spent his time munching on grass and hunting little furry mammals smaller than himself.

We invited Gracie, but she declined.

Oh my gosh, look at the time! I have a luncheon engagement right now. I couldn't possibly come with. Another time, perhaps.

Mt. St. Helens was looking pretty today, and I noticed with great superiority that we were sitting above the clouds right at this moment.

Of course, nothing says that cloud bank won't roll right on up over the top of our hill and envelope the house, but for now, we were feeling pretty smug.

After I'd taken care of my outdoor business, I walked around to see what's springing up. These little mini iris are among the first to bloom.

Here's how they'll look in a week or two. It's a mystery where they came from because I didn't plant them. I like to think the squirrels planted them as their mea culpa for digging up and eating all my tulip bulbs.

The daffodils are heading up now. If memory serves, they head up long before they bloom.

When they bloom, they'll look like these. We have a lot of these yellow and white jobs, but we also have some that are all yellow.

I was thrilled to see that the hydrangea Erik and Mae gave me for Mother's Day last year survived our ice storm back in November. Remember this?

Sometimes we lose young plants when the weather turns cold for so long, but there it is...looking very spritely in its green leaves.

It's one of the prettiest hydrangeas I've ever seen in this wine color. I don't know if it will maintain that color in our soil since hydrangeas are very sensitive to soil pH.

It's neighbor to the right is leafing out as well.

When it blooms, it is the bluest of blues. I'm told that one should put a handful of nails in the ground when they are planted to get this color. We acheived it with no nails at all.

And here are the flowering plum trees that caught my attention yesterday. This would explain their pink hue.

They're so pretty when they bloom. They are among my favorite blooming trees.

This is Mike's weather station. He's been congratulating himself all winter on that spiky contraption he installed on top. The problem is that it fills up with sunflower seeds and bird sh*t because the birds like to land there and crack open their seeds while they eat them. It plugs up the rain gauge and then the weather station stops working. With those spikes, the birds won't land on it. Problem solved.

Speaking of birds, it's about time for the pheasant to show up. We haven't seen or heard him yet, but he's been coming back each spring for years. Two summers ago, we noticed he was limping, and we worried that he might not survive the winter. When spring rolled around there he was, right on schedule. We usually hear him ruffling his feathers before we see him. So far, nothing. I think it will be sad the first year he does not return. Hopefully, it won't be in 2015, but nothing and nobody lives forever.

The heather has been blooming all winter, and it's looking very pretty right now. It's the one winter bloomer and the one spot of color in the garden this time of the year. That's all about to change. 

This is kind of the Agony-Ecstasy time of the year because for all the hopeful signs, there is also plenty of winterkill to deal with. For example, look at this pile of leaves. The iris don't seem to mind, and in truth, they probably provide fertilizer. Still, a rake would be a good addition to this bed right now. Try to overlook the rotting leaves, and notice the iris poking up from below.

They are the garden show stoppers when they decide to bloom.

To their right, the daylilies are coming up too. Looks like some slug bait is in order. Mike's dad used to walk around sprinkling it in his garden muttering, "Candy...candy...candy..." in order to entice his friends, the slugs and snails.

This is another gift from Erik and Mae, as are so many things in our garden. When they bloom, they look like this:

The wisteria at the front door is starting to bud out, but I didn't take a picture of it. There wasn't much to see...yet. When it puts on its show, it looks like this:

It blooms in spring, and for the past two years, it has bloomed again later in the summer.

This is one of my favorite garden bloomers...the star magnolia. They start out looking sort of like a pussywillow.

When they bloom, they are so delicate and beautiful.

Earlier this winter, Mike didn't move the grill out of the wind early enough and this spray bottle blew away. I believe it was during he ice storm, and we wondered if we would ever see it again. In my walk this morning, I found it face down in the gutter. We blamed the wind. I think it was out partying too hard. Pathetic, isn't it?

And speaking of things blowing away in the wind, a few months ago, the wind blew the lid off the bin where we keep the hen scratch that we throw out for the pheasant and the other ground-feeding birds. When that happened, the scoop inside blew away. It was made from a cut-off empty bottle of hand soap, and it was a perfect tool for the job. I despaired of ever seeing it again. Today, while I was out walking around, I noticed something at the edge of the woods.

Upon close inspection...

Ha! There it is! Full of water!

While I was down there, I tried to coax my little cat into walking in the woods with me. If you've been reading since George-the-Cat days, then you know that George and I used to take long walks in the woods. I've been trying to get Smitty to go with me, but so far, he's refused. I was calling him, but he was obviously not interested.

You go on ahead without me. I'll catch up. (Snicker.)

As I headed down the hill, I looked back to see if he was following.

Walk in the woods? She must be kidding. I've heard there are dinosaurs down there...and big things with snapping teeth.

Nope. Nyet. No. Non. Can I make it any more clear?

Oh well. We'll keep trying.

Today I have a little more housework to do, and then I'm going to plant my tomato seeds. After that, I'm hoping to get the quilting and binding finished for the Aspen Tree. Time's a wastin'...

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I love seeing that your spring 'sprouts' are arriving - giving me hope that that will happen here soon (HA). Your flowers are just lovely and you have such a beautiful show thru the seasons.

WoolenSails said...

As I looked longingly at your springlike weather and no snow on the ground, lol.
We have been getting snow all day, just spitting but still cold.


Dasha said...

Thank you. I enjoyed our little perambulate through your garden. :-)

Dana Gaffney said...

I love Spring at your house, seeing everything blooming is so pretty.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

We can't even find the dirt around here. And we're nothing to the poor NE area. Enjoy the Spring for us.

quiltzyx said...

Love getting to walk around the place with you Barbara! Even if Smitty won't go into the woods with us, spoil sport. I'm looking forward to this year's flower show!!

Mrs.Pickles said...

we are still stuck in the middle of winter here. So its nice to see some spring growth :)

Kate said...

I'm envious, all we have is brown and more brown at the moment. The forecast is for sleet, freezing rain and snow on Monday.

Barb H said...

Thanks for sending this message of hope. You have a beautiful garden and now I have hope that someday all the snow here will melt and little green spikes will show up in mine as well.

Jacque said...

Ahhh, I'm drooling. I'm so ready for spring! Lovely post!

Tami C said...

That was very special Barbara! I loved going for a walk with you and Smitty all around your beautiful yard. You always have so many lovely flowers!

Motherdragon's Musings said...

Such beauty coming to life, thank you for sharing. Your corner of the world is indeed magical. Don't blame Smitty for giving dinosaurs and the like a wide berth.

Brown Family said...

It has been so warm here that things are starting to put out. Hopefully they will not get nipped back!