Monday, March 28, 2016


Forsythia blooms.
I first saw daffodils blooming as far north as my house on Friday, but all the open ones were right by house foundations.  Perhaps it's slightly warmer there... anyhow, I don't have any daffodils planted right by my foundation, and didn't really want to get that close to someone's house to take a picture for fear they'd think I was fishy and call the police.  SO I waited until today, when I found an open one farther from a home. 
Look how yellow the pussy willow pollen!  And speaking of willows, the weeping willow catkins are starting to appear. 
So it's a yellow day!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

On one warming day...

Violets blooming (started yesterday).  Apparently spring burn season also started yesterday...

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Weekend Updates

We came across this garter snake on the trail today... it was pretty chilly so it was moving very slowly (or not at all, until I got pretty close with my phone and it made as if to strike me).  That's my first snake sighting of the season!
I saw these scilla blooming yesterday, and the cornelian cherry dogwood -- which had fat yellow buds all week -- finally flowered on Friday!
photo by Lori B. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Welcome Sun!

It may be the middle of the night (at the moment of the equinox), but still we welcome the sun back to the northern hemisphere.  Across distance and culture, these special astronomical moments are times to mark and celebrate the season's passage... and at the vernal equinox in particular, a time to look forward in anticipation of new life and light.

Sun, I'm happy to have you back in the northern hemisphere, with your longer days and energizing light.  We emerge from the darkness!
Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tree Flowers and Gusting Winds

I took this photo yesterday to show how the aspen catkins have progressed from grey puffballs to pendulous flowers that are showing their inner green. 
I noticed this morning that the elms have started flowering.  I don't think I'll get a photo, though, as it's difficult to take pictures of tiny tree flowers (full stop) but it's really difficult when the wind is blowing at over 20 mph with gusts (frequent ones) at over 40 mph.  Twigs won't hold still.

Yeah, today is not my favorite type of weather.  Temperature in the 40s, intermittently rainy, and constantly windy.  But I guess this is the price of spring's arrival.  Over night I was awakened by thunder and lightning at one point, and by high winds -- they were that noisy -- at another point.   

Monday, March 14, 2016


These irises bloomed yesterday but it never stopped raining long enough to take a photo!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

How Green!

...are there lilac buds!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wait, There's More!

Note to self: Stop publishing entries at lunch.  This time of year, there will likely be more discoveries by day's end!  In this case... the first American hazels are both male-flowering (catkins are swelling) and female-flowering (those are the tiny dark pink tufts there).  In a clump of shrubs, some are in full flowers, others look like they did in the middle of winter, with no signs of sexuality at all! 
Speaking of catkins -- the best known of them are pussy willows, which are also starting to bloom. 
And look!  I finally got a picture of Sandhill Cranes.  They are flying over in large numbers today; I've heard reports of sightings from several people. 


Just yesterday, the alder catkins were tight brown clusters; today they're opening, revealing their inner green to the world.  It may still be winter, but right now, spring seems to be everywhere... the whole world is showing its inner green.  Yesterday... yesterday was one of those days when being outside, it seemed like it could cure anything.  Like it would have been impossible not to be invigorated, inspired, uplifted out there.  There were chorus frogs chorusing, the first time this spring I'd heard that song, interrupted by the distinct call of sandhill cranes.  And not from high above my head... cranes were calling from ground level, as though they've come back, settled in.  Even the prairie itself seemed to be ready to burst... below, an area that was burned in the fall has a faint green tinge to it.  Just a little color, peeking through, beneath the brown, telling us it won't be long now.  (Speaking of long... like my shadow?)
Also... last night's rain brought worms out from the saturated soil.  (I know, this one's dead, but t had to be alive to come out, right?)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Crocus Pocus

I spotted my first blooming crocus of the year -- actually saw about 50 of them, in 3 separate yards... and here's a woolly bear, a week after my first sighting of the spring.  

Monday, March 7, 2016

More Updates

First silver maple flowers... And below, a groundhog I saw swimming today.

First Flowers, Honey!

The Vernal Witch Hazels are flowering, their tiny but bright and celebratory petals celebrating our wonderful spring weather, and attracting the pollinators... As I knelt to take pictures of the blooms, I heard a buzzing and started to notice that the bushes were a-buzz with bees!  I caught this one in flight.