Monday, March 16, 2009

March Bloom Day

Well I'm late to the Bloom Day party this month, but I finally made it, after missing two in a row. No actual blooms, but the weather finally broke and spring is starting to do its' thing. So here is a tour of the thaw at Millertime. I was enjoying the beautiful sunshine yesterday on Bloom Day, and the cats managed a "jailbreak". (The screen door doesn't latch properly.) Bentley wasn't interested in getting snow on his paws... ...but Gizmo was all about it! He always wanders as much as possible before I re-capture him, so I let him explore a little bit.

It wasn't that warm really, but after our winter, this felt like 75 degrees! I was out in a t-shirt!I even found a bug who was awake!
My 'Dragon's Blood' sedum is up and going, and the leaves sorta look like I kinda had a bloom. :)
Leftover seed heads....

.....and berberis branches await their foliage... strawberries are alive and greening, even under the ice!
Slowly the snow recedes.....
.....and the leaf litter reappears.... the snow backs away from the tree trunks.
My road is thawing too, becoming a real "off-road experience" as it does....
...paper bark birch peeling off a nice sheet...

...what a gorgeous day!
I like how the ice melts away from the twigs. It reminds me of that old game "Operation", but I don't think I could remove this without touching the sides!
This thaw is a welcome sight for winter-weary eyes for sure...
...and these buds too!
Even froggy here can manage a smile while surrounded by ice!
Hey! 'Luscious' Snowy Woolrush is growing already! Guess that's why it's snowy woolrush, eh?
Prickly pear cactus re-appears.... squirrels pop up too, still using their tunnels!All of them!
The chipmunks are awake as well. They caught on to the tunnel protocol real fast, and share them with the squirrels.
Still plenty of snow in the yard....
...even over the top of my tall winter boots!

But we're getting a week of 40's and 50's, so the melt is on!
The river is still pretty solid, but I hear groaning and cracking off and on, so it should look very different by weeks' end.

And so should my plants! Happy Bloom Day and spring everybody!!
For some real Bloom Day blooms, check out our founder, Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Go spring, go!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spring Fever With Houseplants

Here's a new houseplant, it was an impulse buy on a trip to Kmart a few weeks ago. I thought it looked like a dieffenbachia, or perhaps an aglaonema....

....I really dig the variegation on the leaves...
....and the white stem coloration that extends into the midrib on the leaves.Unfortunatley, the tag that was in the pot revealed very non-specific information. "Assorted Foliage"! Hrumph!
So I did a search for the growers, "Costa Farms", and found a very colorful website. I emailed them and got a very speedy reply from a nice gentleman who suggested I email a picture for a positive ID. Well I did, and it turns out this is Dieffenbachia 'Sparkles'! So if you ever run across some "assorted foliage" from Costa Farms but you must know exactly what you have, never fear-the friendly "plant geeks" at Costa Farms will hook you up! Thanks Mike!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Winter Thrills

That's right, it's still winter here at Millertime, though we're having a slight warmup this week. (I'm talkin' 40 degrees...whoopie!) Anyhow, I was out feeding the birds the other day, and the chickadees seemed especially friendly, landing quite close as I stood next to the feeder.
So I decided to put some seeds in my hand, stand real still, and see if I can get one to land on my fingers. Have you ever tried this? I'd seen it done in magazines, but every time I've tried my arm gets too tired and I quit. (Patience is not among my "many virtues" ;-)
He looks curious at least.....
...OMG! OMG! OMG! I'm holding the camera, trying to be still and yet compose the picture...very tough when you're excited!

Success!! Hooray!

It only took 2 or 3 minutes, too! Man, am I "Dr. freakin' Doolittle" or what?! ;-) Submitted to Friday Ark.