Sunday, March 2, 2008


Yes, I know it's not really spring yet, but for the first time in Southern Indiana in a million years (hyperbole, much?) it was a beautiful, warm day. I started out this fine day by washing all three of our cars. My car was weeping with joy as it has easily been six months since the poor dear has been clean. I did have to ask for my husband to come out and help me wash his car as I had already washed two other cars. I must admit though, when my daughter washes my car I always owe her $10, but when I asked her today what I was going to get for washing her car, she replied, "thanks, Mom." I really think I'm getting the short end of the stick here...

Hey, look. There's still snow on the ground. And I kept slipping on that ice when I was washing my car.

Then, off to a walk around the house, inspecting the plants. Let's see: I have an 8 foot tall Canada Red Chokeberry (Prunus virginiana) tree seedling to transplant, a small thorn tree (variety unknown at this time) to cut down, and several more errant small trees to cut down. Then there are the multiple butterfly bushes to trim back. That is not a fun job. Now, I just need to figure out how to get someone to help me with this job...

Oh, I'm a happy gardener. This is a praying mantis egg case. And the babies are just so cute!

The first sign of spring flowers. My three hyacinths have broken through the soil, mulch and debris. I know, you can barely see them. Just trust me on this.

The Buds of my Cleveland Select Pear tree.

I picked up a few bobbles that had fallen during the winter and put downed branches on the compost heap. It was with much satisfaction that I noted the emerging buds on trees and the tell tale signs of dogwood blossoms yet to be. Unfortunately, the deer really like the dogwood flower buds too, so certain sides of the trees will be a bit bereft of blooms. I will keep my fingers crossed this spring, as last year a late, prolonged freeze zapped the annual display of the dogwood and redbud flowers. Just in case you don't know, what you may think of being a dogwood flower is not really a flower at all. What you are admiring are just the protective bracts. The real flowers are the small green dots in the center. Don't scientists just suck all the romance out of life?

And now to the fun part! I prepared my lunch, harnessed the cat (oh shush, he likes it) and sashayed out onto the back deck. Bet you didn't know I could sashay. I opened the umbrella over the table, secured the cat's leash to a heavy piece of furniture and sat down to enjoy the great outdoors. After lunch, I grabbed one of my new cookbooks and relaxed while my cat explored the deck.

Now, this is the life.

All right, this is my fault. I did tell my cat, Midnight, to make himself comfortable. See that fabric under him? That's my long-sleeved shirt. It was warm enough (65 degrees) that I was just fine in my tank top.

Midnight checks out the dead, er sleeping plants.

Oops, Kelley stopped by and Midnight decided to play.

What's that noise? Why, I do believe the Sandhill Cranes are returning north. My daughter and I spied several groups of these vivacious creatures making their way back home for the warmer months. Scroll down the page to Vocalizations and then to Unison Calls to hear what they sound like in flight. Last spring I was fortunate enough to witness the migration north: the procession lasted several minutes with thousands of birds passing overhead. It was truly spectacular.

The picture is blurry, but I love the pattern the birds made in mid-flight. Unfortunately, the little creatures refuse to stand still while flying.

Another group of Sandhill Cranes fly overhead.

I am a happy girl. My cars are clean, I have an idea of all the work that needs to be done out in the yard this spring, I got some much needed sunshine, my cat got some fresh air, and life is just good. Well, the birds were a bit peeved that their deck had been so rudely appropriated, but all in all, it has been a great afternoon. Here's to more of these kinds of days.

No comments: