Sunday, March 26, 2023

Bugs, buds, and blossoms

I've seen a swarm or two of gnats this past week, but today I spotted this fellow feeding on the witch hazel blossoms. Some kind of bee, I guess. Honey?

Bee on witch hazel

Meanwhile, buds are starting to swell here and there around the yard.





I didn't get a good photo of the snowdrops, but the "regular" croci are blooming as well as the daffodils (which look a little raggedy, due to the fluctuating weather).

So much for outside. Inside, I finally got around to starting the zinnias from seed. But first, I made some pots from newspaper, as described in this video.

Mine are not as refined as the ones in the video, but they will work.

Today I finished de-branching the arborvitae, so that task is finished. Now I am waiting on an estimate for the rain garden, because of this repeat performance:

I hope the rain garden helps.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Another pile of feathers

Just as I was about to go outside and fill birdfeeders, I noticed this fellow dining al fresco. From the remains (just feathers), it looks like dinner was something small, like a sparrow or junco.

This crow also paid the backyard a visit. I think that is the first time I have seen one at the feeders.

(From the quality of these photos, you can see why I would like a new camera, preferably one with a zoom lens.)

In the photos above, you will see a pile of arborvitae branches in the background. That is what I have been working on when the weather allows: lopping branches off the trunks of the downed shrubs and creating brush piles for the wildlife. Otherwise, I am (im)patiently waiting for spring.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

More snow, despite the yardening

I managed to get a bit of outdoor work done before more snow arrived. The south side of the house is cleaned up and more of the arborvitae is taken care of. I also broke off the old blossoms on the 'Limelight' hydrangea. I am curious how that shrub will do now that the arborvitae are gone on that side of the yard. Hopefully, more sun will mean less spindly growth.

I didn't notice that one blossom I missed, at the tippy top, until I took the picture.

About that snow. This is in addition to last week's two inches, which melted. And this snow melted as well, but more fell last night. Winter just won't quit.

It occurred to me the other day that, if I am going to grow zinnias this year, I should get them started soon. That would be a great task for today.

BTW, my new shoulder feels *great*. Winter may not be the best time mood-wise to recover from surgery, but I am so glad to be able to do yardwork painfree. Well, except for the overall achiness the next day. But that's a *good* pain.

Sunday, March 05, 2023

More yardening, despite the snow

Last Wednesday, two separate people told me we were getting a foot of snow on Friday. I don't know where they get their information, but my weather app predicted a few inches, and what we got was even less than that, after a lot of rain. Today is sunny and warm, so I worked on cutting down grasses on the south side of the house. Yeah, I do my fall clean-up in March.

I purchased this mason bee house several years ago (2008?) but kept forgetting to put it up. Something must have jogged my memory this year, as it is now hanging on the southeast corner of the shed. For more information on these super-duper pollinators, watch this YouTube video.

The Tommies (Crocus tommassinianus 'Roseus') are up, and I put the macro function on my phone camera to use documenting their existance before they disappeared. Rabbits probably snacked on the blossoms, as they are no longer to be seen.

I think I saw a redwing blackbird at the feeders the other day. They don't visit often but do make an appearance in the spring. Besides the usual fox squirrels, this black one (from a melanistic subgroup) showed up. Today, the dogs are keeping all rodents at bay, as I kicked them out to enjoy the sunshine before we receive more rain tomorrow.

My SO and I went to the Home and Garden Show last Thursday. It was unusually busy for a weekday, probably because of that snowy forecast. I purchased two pieces of yard art, which I will show you once they are installed. I also spoke with a solar salesman, as I'm thinking that may be a better solution than a backup generator in case we lose power, say after a storm. What say ye?