Exciting backyard visitors

It was extra special last week to see a bright splash of blue in the backyard and to realize it was a male Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea). It’s a new member of our backyard bird list that we’ve kept since replanting the backyard with native plants in 2006. We’re now up to 66 different species.

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Gold in the Garden

When I saw these crocuses blooming on the 3rd day of February, I felt like I had discovered nuggets of gold. I’ve never before had garden flowers this early.

Yellow crocuses
I’m amazed that something that appears so delicate can survive our below-freezing temperatures, but they seem to take the cold in stride. The blossoms close tightly at night, but open and seem to glow on sunny afternoons. Thanks be for nature’s February gold!

Early blooms and buds

I’m having great fun checking the backyard for spring flowers. The blooms and buds are small and there aren’t many of them. However it’s quite obvious that spring is springing!  Here’s a sampling of what I’ve found so far.

Collage of early spring flowers in our backyard

The buds are beautiful on their own, and I enjoy watching them open into blooms. I’m delighted to watch the ‘plant parade’ once again, and I hope you’re enjoying some signs of spring also.

P.S. I’ve recently created photo galleries of pollinators and moths on my website, and added new images to other galleries. I’d be glad for you to check them out.

Red maple flowers

I’m convinced spring has arrived. Spring peepers are peeping, and red maple trees (Acer rubrum) are blooming.

I’ve enjoyed the subtle color of maple flowers for years, and I’ve recently discovered how intricate and beautiful they are. I often see the small blossoms high overhead or from a distance, and they’re easy to overlook. These are male flowers as seen from the ground.

Red maple male flowers

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Bleeding Hearts

I am amazed at the variety of shapes and colors of flowers, and I find the shape of Bleeding Hearts especially intriguing. This non-native one (Dicentra spectabilis) brings back many fond memories of my grandmother and her delightful flower garden. The plants get 2-3 feet tall, and the dangling blossoms on arching stems remind me of a charm bracelet. The flowers appear in April and May, and the attractive foliage dies back in mid-summer.

Non-native Bleeding Heart flowers

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