Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring's Awakening

Now that spring has sprung in our half of the world, above the equator, I find myself vigilantly searching for signs of its "springing".
Last Friday marked the vernal equinox (day and night are the same length) - the official beginning of spring - and the sun shone brightly, but a very cold wind chilled our bones.
A week ago, on St. Patrick's Day, our temperature reached a glorious 59ºF/15ºC, and on the Sunday and Monday before that I was able to spend a few hours doing clean-up work in the garden. What a joy to feel the sun on my back and breathe the fresh air!
This past Sunday brought a few snow showers, and the arctic north wind has persisted since then, keeping me indoors. I'm deceived by the bright sunshine, and go out to snap a few photos, but am chilled through within seconds and hurry back into the warmth of the house. Such is March.
But there are signs of spring's awakening.....

The redwinged blackbirds are back!

They clean up the seed beneath the feeders, with help from a few grackles. The female redwings have brown stripes and look quite different from the males. (click photo to enlarge for a better view).

They spook easily and fly to the old elm in the hedgerow across the road.

These photos were taken on March 11th and most of the snow has melted since then,

........but there are still patches here and there. Posted by Picasa

We had a treat on St. Patty's Day when our oldest daughter came up from NY City to spend a couple of days with us. On Wednesday she and I walked down to the river to explore, and found a couple of Canada geese. We've been hearing them honk and seeing them fly over the river for a few weeks now. They obligingly stayed long enough for me to snap a few pictures. Posted by Picasa

Usually they fly away immediately, but these two let us get a little closer before they took off.

There's a nice view of the farm from over there.

We also took a nice long walk along our road which takes us past a couple of places that keep horses. The dairies are gone from the farms close to us and horses have taken the place of cows on two of those farms. Posted by Picasa

These two beauties were happy to say hello.

A little further along we found more horses enjoying the mild morning.

Back home on a different day I quickly grabbed the camera to catch a shot of another neighbor out for a jaunt with the horse and buggy.

It's almost time to take the winter covering off the roses. Some have already been removed. And there's still plenty of clean-up work to do.

On the first day of spring I went exploring with my camera and found buds on the lilacs. Posted by Picasa

We won't see blooms until May.

The cutleaf maple is budding. This photo was taken on a cloudy day....

....and this one on a sunny day. What a difference in the color of the sky!

These clusters of buds will open into flowers around mid April. Posted by Picasa

The brave little snowdrops bloom alone still.....

....but yesterday I finally spotted crocus shoots emerging beside the daffodil spears.

And the tulips are growing!

In the veggie garden this morning I found garlic pushing up out of the ground. I tried to push it back in but the ground was frozen. Even the surface dirt was too frozen to rake some around the bulbs. There'll be no planting peas here for a few weeks yet, Carol! Posted by Picasa

We've been seeing the wild turkeys most mornings in the field next to the house.

The toms are displaying but I haven't caught a picture of them strutting their stuff yet. Posted by Picasa

Cowbirds are visiting the feeders. This one is a male. Posted by Picasa

And starlings are always after an easy meal. Although they sometimes feed in flocks in the yard, luckily we don't get too many at the feeders.

I sighted our first two robins on March 18th.

A sure sign that spring has sprung! Posted by Picasa

Just before I took this photo, Jasmine, in full "spring fever" mode, had made a flying dash across the yard and raced up the maple tree. I ran for my camera, but by the time I got back outside she was sitting on the ground. She did pose nicely though. :)

The barn kitties are spending more time outside...another definite sign of spring. They found sheltered warmth in the sunshine by the back door this afternoon. Posted by Picasa

We witnessed this spectacular sunset two weeks ago, and I'm watching another one as I type this. I doubt it will give us quite the impressive display of this one though. Normally they're more subdued at this time of year, but the softer colors are beautiful too. Posted by Picasa
Spring is springing gradually so far, but a couple of weeks into April will bring green grass and more!
We have much to look forward to!

Happy spring everyone!

(and happy fall/autumn to those of you who are under the equator) :)


Lisa at Greenbow said...[Reply]

What an action packed post Kerri. It certainly looks like spring is upon you. What great sights and sounds and I can smell the fresh spring air. Happy Spring to you too.

Cathy said...[Reply]

My gosh, that was like watching a great movie. Nice Photography, I sure would like to live in a surrounding like yours.

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...[Reply]


It looks like things are really popping out up there! I can't believe the garlic! Your tree buds look at about the same stage as ours, yet you've got a colder climate. Interesting how the plants synch up in spring.

Great photos!

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...[Reply]

Yea for signs of spring, Kerri! On the other hand, spring has grabbed hold of her snow-blanket, rolled over and gone back to sleep indefinitely. Just what we needed...NOT.

Tatyana said...[Reply]

Kerri, thanks for taking us on a walk! Very calm, relaxing surroundings... Your pictures told a whole story. Good post!

Chandramouli S said...[Reply]

That definitely marks the spring! Brave Snowdrops! Robins! Well, love seems to waft into the air gently and it shouldn't be long before you see baby robins accompanying their parents... Good luck! Happy Spring!

Vicki's Bit-o-earth said...[Reply]

Just gorgeous!!! Wonderful photography! (:

Carol said...[Reply]

Spring does take her time arriving up where you are, doesn't she? I don't know what I'd do if my ground was still frozen on St. Patrick's Day! But I hope you have a thaw soon.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Sandra said...[Reply]

What wonderful photos! Once again I am glad you invited us over. I miss the country life.

Roses and Lilacs said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri, suddenly I have lots of redwings too, love their calls. Only males so far. A few robins, saw one this morning walking about three feet from the dog. Love the photo of your neighbor trotting down the road. That would be a fun way to spend a spring afternoon.

Cat with a garden said...[Reply]

Happy Spring to you too! I will be so interesting to accompany the changes in your garden.

Rosehaven Cottage said...[Reply]

We just had red-winged blackbirds visit our garden for the very first time! It was really exciting to see them.


Aerie-el said...[Reply]

I was thinking that our locations were showing similar signs of spring, until the field of wild turkeys! None of those in this neck of the woods!
Happy spring to you!

joey said...[Reply]

I see much to be hopeful for in this lovely post, Kerri ... don't you just love those wild turkeys? Have been wanting to take a few shots of my garden but it's been pouring rain and more on the way ... certainly a gift for the garden but I'm getting itchy!

Msrobin said...[Reply]

I'm so glad that spring is finally arriving there in your cold climate. I'm glad you enjoy those Canadian geese, we have more than we want, thank you very much! They are considered pests around here. The colors of your garden will soon return Kerri!

Gail said...[Reply]

I loved every part of this post...I was able to feel a apart of your everyday life...such a great time! That is some incredible sunset our winter sunsets and their beautiful colors seem to be gone for now... Thank you for sharing your emerging spring and this wonderful post!


sweet bay said...[Reply]

The arrival of spring is wonderful, isn't it? I love the pictures of the cats sunning themselves, the birds, and of course, the sunset.

Northern Shade said...[Reply]

Such a happy sight, to see the new green bulb sprouts emerging. The snowdrops make a great leader for the front of the bulb parade. Soon, those crocuses and daffodils will join the bloom parade. The cats seem to enjoy more of a spectator role, except for Jasmine. The bulb shoots look thick and established. I bet you get a good amount of flowers on them.
Happy spring.

Tabor said...[Reply]

We at last have robins and a pair of bluebirds in the garden. The oak mast is starting to hang and many of the early flowering trees are bursting with blooms. Exciting!

Naturegirl said...[Reply]

Kerri wonderful signs of Spring in your world! I love the photos of the horses and the kitties all in a row basking in the bit of sunshine!PurrrZzzz!I am so spoiled her in AZ because the landscape filled with blooming flowers is like August back home. Seeing your landscape still leafless and brown put things in persfective for me.
Sending lots of sunshine your way!

Alice said...[Reply]

It's so interesting to see the small signs of Spring in the visiting birds, the trees in bud, and the thrusting crocuses. Even the blueness of the sky is encouraging. But the photo I loved best was the farmer with his horse and buggy. It conjured up visions of a slower, more relaxed era when people were able to notice the countryside and all its seasonal changes instead of whizzing by in their cars.

Annie in Austin said...[Reply]

Viewing your photo-essay did feel like walking around with a friend, Kerri - looking closely and chatting about every thing we saw.

I remember many a March when just seeing the ground felt like proof of spring, even if it was still frozen. Poor heaved garlic!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Tabor said...[Reply]

I think the red blossom like stuff hanging from the oaks is called mast or maste! And, no, the snowdrops are not blooming...not even budding...just up.

Giroflée said...[Reply]

it's a great pleasure to see your country
thank you

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...[Reply]

So many happenings in your yard Kerri. I have never seen a redwinged blackbird other than in a photo. It would be nice if some decide to stop off in my yard. Thanks for taking us on your tour...it was lovely! It will be nice to see color! Your roses are gorgeous, I'm sure;-) Those barn kitties sure get spoiled over the winter, don't they?!!

Susie said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri,
I loved seeing all the subtle signs of springtime springing forth in your pretty part of the world. How wonderful that you got to have a good visit with K. Those kitties looks like they're enjoying basking in the sunshine :)
It's full blown spring here (80's today!!)
Just got back from a nice trip up the coast. Will post soon.
much love,

Giddy said...[Reply]

Kerri, your yard is quite a bit further along than ours. The perennial bed is still under 2 feet of icy snow. The days are getting warmer, but I think it will still be several weeks before I'm able to get out to do some clean up.

Titania said...[Reply]

The landscape has still that rest look but in no time it will be green and flowers abound. All the signs of spring are back. It is amazing how many different birds do come and visit. Soon you will have forgotten the cold and enjoy warming spring sunshine. I thoroughly enjoyed your spring has sprung story.

John said...[Reply]


Nice post. Spring is a great time of year. Apple was out working in her gardens yesterday in the wonderful sunshine.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...[Reply]

Update from beleagued Bloomingwriter...the redwings are here too now, Kerri. Woke hubby up this morning. We're going to make it, yet!

Marie said...[Reply]

What a beautiful spring post :)

Apple said...[Reply]

It's so nice that you can see the positives. Up until yesterday I was stuck on how dreary everything looks. I can only imagine how much you enjoyed having your daughter visit :)

John started shoveling off the shade beds yesterday and I really enjoyed the nice weather to start on what cleanup I could.

I know we need the rain that we're getting today, I just hope it isn't too much all at once!

inlandempiregirl said...[Reply]

We are about at the same place with this "spring" stuff. I never thought I would see a crocus again. I love the photo of the barn cats sunning themselves. You are right, it is definately a sign of spring. I agree with you. The sunsets are much more vivid this year, especially this spirng. We have had the same experience with sunrises.

verobirdie said...[Reply]

Your last three posts are beautiful, as always. Your farm looks very much like my mother in law's :-) (it is a compliment for both of you!).
Thanks for this walk!

Frances said...[Reply]

Dear Kerri, it fills my heart with joy to see that you are getting to experience the delights of spring, and having family there to share it with makes it that much better. I loved seeing the place where you live, it is pastoral, peaceful and full of beauty. Jasmine did look very regal. :-)

Monica the Garden Faerie said...[Reply]

I have many of the same signs of spring as you: bulb foliage, snowdrops, lilac and maple buds, and return of the red-wined blackbird. But, horses? not so much! LOL.

Beth said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri - thought of you the other day as I was looking through my seeds to plant this spring - thinking to myself that it will be LONG time yet before I get to do that! We just need to make it past this flood for one more week and I'm sure spring will be here soon enough ... I miss sunshine, warm weather and being outside. Hope things are well in your world ...

Bren said...[Reply]

I found you on the Blotanical Network. BIG FAN Of your photos.... I am a cat person so I would have to say the barn cats are my favorite shot.

Please stop by my garden. I hope to follow you this spring because I can't wait to see what blooms you will be posting.

WONDERFUL WORK - Happy Spring!

kcjewel said...[Reply]

are your redwing blackbirds mean like ours? there are times when ours divebomb at the human head... not fun!! you blog is very nice... thanks for sharing!