My weekend snaphot will be thematic this week. The theme will be spring is in the air. Where I live, the official last frost date is April 14. Of course we all know that nature doesn't look at calendars.Last year by mid April the gardens and trees were so far along, after a moderate winter, that it looked like summer. Then BAM, on April 20th we had record breaking low temperatures and the leaves on the pecan and mulberry trees died along with a multitude of flowers. Therefore, as happy as I am with all the signs of spring I'm hoping the growing season doesn't plow ahead too fast.
I've already had some damage from freezing rain that pounded on some early flowers. The first shot of the American Robin is a sign of spring I love. Around this time of year the robins begin to forage for food and can be spotted strutting around my back garden. This one flew up to a tree to wait out my photo shoot but the minute I walked on by, it hopped back down to the ground. The second shot is of a magnolia liliflora (tulip tree) which is the first flowering tree I usually see. I found out it is technically a shrub but this tree is at least 18 feet tall. I read that they can get up to 13 feet but apparently this one didn't read that book and kept growing.
My camellia is starting to bloom and is usually the first bush that has blossoms at my house. It also already has some winter damage. You can see the brown in the center of the blossom above. Some of the buds which haven't opened are brown and may not do much but I am enjoying the early flowers anyway.
The narcissus above is holding it's own although it has been slightly bowed down since the freezing rain we had this week. My narcissus usually blooms a few weeks before my daffodils. My daffodils are budding out but they wait for my daughter's birthday to open all the way up. When I went into labor in 1985 there was snow and ice on the ground and nothing was blooming. After my daughter was born the sun came out and when Bill came home to pick up a few things, the daffodils were in full bloom. I told my daughter the story of how the flowers bloomed in honor of her birth. The funny thing is my neighbors daffodils are already blooming but the special ones that I think of as my daughters, are holding out a week for her birthday before they will open. They often do that so I'm expecting to see them wait until March 2 to open.I'll end with my crocuses which are invariably the first flowers to bloom. They've already been beat down by sleet but opened back up and are doing fine. These snow crocuses live up to their name and don't seem to mind the back and forth weather we're having.
You can find other participants here - Weekend Snapshot or on Technorati here - Weekend Snapshot