Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nature Notes: Warming up considerably

The year started off quite cold but it is warming up considerably where I live. I have mixed feelings about spring like weather in the winter because sometimes flowers get signals too soon. Considering that our average last frost date is in April, this is much too early for confused flowers.
Not that flowers are starting to bloom yet but there are already starting to be signs that a few may start emerging only to get zapped in the near future. It's been a wet winter but when it's cold enough to snow it has mostly been dry and when it's wet the temperatures warm up. Still there is alot of moss which I love and which wet weather encourages.
I also like wet leaves and old fallen branches with interesting growths on them.
I don't know if there are several hawks that hang out in my neighborhood or if it's one which gets around a lot. I seem to be spotting it in the trees everywhere I look.
My back garden has lots of areas with bulbs and perennials. In the fall I try to shift a lot of the oak leaves from my front yard to my back yard for thick mulch which I rake away in the spring when the flowers emerge.
In the shot above you may notice that the first two terraced rows are covered in brown leaves and everything is still a sleep. However if you look towards the top on the left, I didn't get to that area and I couldn't believe it when I saw some plants already getting ready for spring flowers MUCH too soon.
The shot above is the other side of my back garden and I did get most of that area covered in a protective blanket of leaves.
I also got the paths in between my green house and raised bed boxes mulched so hopefully weeds won't grown through in the summer.
However I wish I'd done a better job mulching in the part of my garden on the other side. The helioborus (lenten rose) is always green but it's budding too soon. I even spotted some narcissus emerging when it shouldn't be up until March.
On these warm days, I feel like I should begin cleaning up my back garden for spring. However, although the ornamental grasses may be brown and spent, every time I get close enough to consider cutting away the dead growth they explode with little birds and I back away.
This time last year we had over 5 inches of snow on the ground. As much as I would enjoy a pretty snow, the birds are so happy with the break in cold weather that I'm happy for them.
Please visit the home of nature notes to find other participants.


Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Wonderful pics of your warm up. I am an obsessive flower gardener in fact this Ozarks farm chick has named her illness a OCFD. Heeeheheh! I truly enjoyed my walk through your garden.

As we say here in the hills and hollers of the Missouri Ponderosa, Ya'll have a wonderfully blessed day!!!

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

I just wanted to thank you for popin' over with your sweet comment.

In the words of Granny Clampett, " ya'll come back now, ya hear!"

Cezar and Léia said...

Oh no, the flowers are getting confused! :)
God bless you!

Caron said...

It bothers me when the plants and trees get confused. I hate to think of them not blooming well when the time really rolls along.

Anonymous said...

Our winter is warmer than normal too this year. But not nearly as warm as you! We had tons and tons of snow last year. This year we have some, enough to protect perennials from any extreme cold...if we happen to get some. We are not expecting a cold spell (I mean REALLY cold) for at least another week.

Bulbs can be amazing. Even though they may begin to grow, they can probably survive anything Mother Nature has in store for them. If trees are budding then I might be a little worried, though.

Leora said...

Your top photo, the stream in the woods, is beautiful. I also enjoyed the interesting growth you found on the tree.

I hope the flowers get it right ... nature is not easy to predict.

Quilt Works said...

Lovely photos! The first one the relfections is the one that really caught my eye! Great job!

...Follow the poop!

eileeninmd said...

Great post and photos. We are having a litle warmer temp but not enought to fool the flowers. Grreat capture fo teh hawk, I gues he is looking for his dinner.

Rambling Woods said...

We are a little above normal but still highs are only in the lower 30's so the plants won't be coming up here. I love that you use your leaves as mulch and leave stuff to cut back till spring. It gives the birds much needed cover when the trees are all bare. I wish I knew what kind of hawk you have, but I have enough trouble with the ones here. I don't how much they tolerate one another in their feeding territory when it isn't breeding time....Michelle

MyMaracas said...

I really enjoyed the walk around your yard. It looks so well tended and loved, with the stepped beds and mulches. Can't wait to see what it all looks like in bloom!

RJ Flamingo said...

It was freakishly cold here for about 10 days over the last couple of weeks, then it became seasonal, and now it's in the 80's. The birds are confused, the plants are confused, and I ain't doing that well, myself! :-)

Jeanne said...

Carver--you have so much garden space! I'm jealous.

Good plan to leave the dead growth to shelter the birds. Here in Seattle, we have one kind of hummingbird that migrates south in the winter and another kind that stays around. I'm always surprised to catch a glimpse of one in winter. They are so tiny, but obviously they are tough.