Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Spring has sprung! I say that with all confidence, despite the likelihood of a couple more snow storms (this is Wisconsin, after all). This was my temp Saturday morning though.......the sky was clear too, and showing off another halo around the sun........it was even warm enough to open the windows and let in some fresh air. This made the cats very happy of course, adding a scent dimension to their birdwatching.But look at all the snow that remains!Pretty deep still, too........but it's not stopping some bulbs from showing themselves.........they seem to pop up the second the snow is away... ....of course the ones next to the house along the southern foundation are ahead. This one is really exciting....
....Arum dracunculus that I just planted last year! I can't wait to see this thing, although I'm not so sure about the smell of the bloom ("putrid" to attract insects for pollination).
The river is opening up, too........there's a lot of noise associated with breaking ice, sounds like glass breaking or even a large building groaning and rumbling sometimes.......fun to watch the big chunks float by.....(yea, I take a lot of breaks for ice watch, duck watch, etc. :) More life in the wooded areas of the yard, too...
...even this shady area is melting nicely.......but as the snow melts away, I see this white fuzz all over the place.What is this stuff? It looks webby...winter spiders?! As I clear brush that had been under the snow, I see some of it on this stick...hmmm. I'm betting it's a mycelium run of some kind, because in the areas where snow melted and the sun has been shining awhile, this webby stuff is dried up and barely visible. Funny to think of "fungus" under the snow.
More macro fun...I love to investigate this stuff close-up....

....it's like some tiny little garden that I didn't have to plant! Colorful, too.
Ah, and look at these nice fat buds on the birches...leaves are comin'! Uh oh! I think my poor old prickly pear cactus is done-for! Oh well, I want to re-do my cactus area anyway, so I guess it won't need to be potted up during excavation.
More decomposition...this stump has been a nice "plant stand" for about 8 years, but I think this will be the last. (Now if I wanted the stump to disappear it would take a stick of dynamite or something! ;-)
Cleaned up the potted stuff that over-wintered along the house. Daylilies have been especially susceptible to rotting in pots this time of year if I'm not diligent....




....signs of life from these helenium refugees, too. I'll find them a permanent home this year.
Alas, poor musa basjoo looks very unhappy surrounded by snow. This hardy banana is supposed to be able to take it though, so we'll see...
...sedum 'Purple Emperor' is coming up, so time to clear the leaves away so it doesn't rot. I did the same for my bearded irises, removing debris and exposing their "shoulders" (roots/tubers), and it was just in time-some were rotting! Ooops!
More signs of life....



...but not here yet! I keep hoping this stump will turn into the oyster mushroom farm that I want it to be....

....but no sign of the tasty fungus yet. Even though it's been 16 months since initial innoculation with spore plugs, I'm not too worried. This is a large stump, and the local mushroom experts at Field and Forest Products (where I got the spore from) said it can take three years or more for the mycelium to run and produce mushrooms. Hey, if nothing else I have a large, funny-looking stump to lean my trellis against.
More cleanup, this time the foliage from a nice big peony....
....quite a haul to feed my composters (I filled this container five times).
I got excited to see my hepatica americana greening up, but when I cleared the leaves away, the ground was frozen underneath. Oh well, all in good time....

....in the meantime, bulbs are doing their thing...
...even these late-planted daylilies are beginning to rally...
.....this one is in the back of the wagon, not protected from the weather very well, yet greening up all the same!
Okay, time to call it a day and crack open a brew! I just love the variety of conifers that make up my skyline (way better than a skyscraper, IMO!).

Time for the first fire of the season! Despite the lack of drama, it's really fun....
....hey! Remember this guy? Heh, that's right..."It's only a flesh wound".....
.....are you a "fire mixer" too? Every campfire has one...that annoying person who cannot leave the fire alone for five minutes without re-arranging it...yea, that's me.... ...hey! Even my solar stuff is lighting up as the "glacier" recedes....



.....now for some TV and then to bed, while visions of peonies dance in my head...yay spring!!

9 comments:

vonne said...

The moss on that old stump is so pretty!

You and hubs would make a good pair - he just can't leave those embers alone...he's always stirring. But they ARE a lot prettier right after a good stir, eh? I love a good fire.

gintoino said...

It really amazes me that plants like that banana tree will regrow after all that snow. In fact living in a area where we get no snow it amazes me that any plant would grow back after all that snow ;-)
Isn't nature wonderful?

lisa said...

Vonne-I think the stump looks very decorative that way, too. Yea, no fire burns properly without plenty of re-arranging! :)

Gintoino-I really hope the banana returns, but I saw one on a blog from Canada, so I'm hopeful! It really IS amazing how the plants just "arise from the dead" every year, and how quickly! In less than a month, I'll have green and flowers all over the place. I'm thrilled and surprised every year, it never gets old! (Of course, a more tropical climate with some geckos running around would be way cool, too! ;-)

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

My middlet monkey is the fire mixer he just cannot leave it alone. Great pictures.

Deb

lisa said...

Thanks Deb! Funny, I've been "fire mixer" since I was a kid, too. (But not a pyromaniac or anything, although I did light some of my mom's nail polish remover on fire one time, just to see if it would burn. It did, quite well! Luckily I had sense enough to do it in the driveway on a calm day in an appropriate container! ;-)

vonne said...

"Not a pyromaniac or anything..."
Snort.. Wonder what MOM would have to say about that? heh

Acetone does makes a pretty blue flame, doesn't it? Not that I would know...heh

lisa said...

Oh yea, mom's story COULD vary slightly! ;-) Funny that you've seen the blue flame too...um, or at least HEARD about it! ;-)

Cinj said...

Lovely! We saw quite a bit of melt this weekend too, but it looks like we're going to pile it back up in the next couple of days. Are you just forecasted for rain?

lisa said...

Cinj-We got snow Tuesday into Weds., then sleet/ice Thurs. into Friday...*sigh*. But the temps are supposed to go back up by Monday again.