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Posts Tagged ‘change’

Spring Singer alerted me to the emergence of this year’s first crop of jousting carpenter bees [Xylocopus] in regional gardens.  This afternoon they are bumbling in and around the magnolia blossoms and riding the willow catkins, which bow under their weight in the March breezes.

First-Xylocopus-Spring-2016

At least, around here, at the moment, those are ‘breezes’.  I understand Colorado got a blizzard, and sections of the Northeast got a recent blast of snow.

Big bees, little bees; it’s been a good day for watching wildlife in the warming weather.  A wood thrush poked around in the leaf litter by the back fence.  White throated sparrows haven’t disappeared yet, and the downy woodpeckers are tap tap tapping to see what might be waking up under loose bark.  Cardinals, blue jays, song sparrows…. Squirrels, rabbits, and oh, I hope that was something other than a rat — aren’t those supposed to be nocturnal?  Couldn’t it be a stoat, or something more pleasant, with a brown agouti coat and bright black eyes?

We’ll see.

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Points if you know the song lyrics, of course.  This picture is unrelated, in the sense that I knew I wanted to post the image before the title for the post made an awkward shift from a single word to something with more [literal] resonance..

ColorizedTree-fog-Dec15

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In light of the fact that we can typically get raspberries from our yard in December, I’m thinking more and more about an edible hedgerow.  Raspberries, beautyberries [native], maybe more quince…

If I do, chances are, I’ll order from Nourse Farms…. Unless you have some suggestions for me…?

Heck, maybe a rose known for its hips rather than its blossoms might be fun, too.

UPDATE: A helpful friend sent this image of “a rose with hips”:

2650222d88c820bb52f3e55bbcf56c55

That friend, of course, did not have to live through wearing the massively-flowered dresses of the late 80s/early 90s.  Mine were at least knee-length though….

Here’s hoping the rest of the winter is temperate enough that the figs don’t get frozen to their roots again.  I miss having handfuls of figs to eat in late summer.

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Well, there are all kinds of signs to wonder about…some less subtle than others:    There are signs of renewal, like the blooming iris, the rescued redcurrant bush bearing fruit, or the black swallowtail butterfly I saw depositing eggs on the fennel this afternoon.  There are signs of increasing biodiversity in the meadow — yesterday I saw a small metallic blue sweat bee [I think] that I know I haven’t seen here before.

Copterific

There are signs of social contracts that can’t be described as “unraveling” because they were never really knit together in the first place.  I mentioned to a friend recently that the troubling thing about my relationship with those circling copters I used to complain about [and still do, but not so much in blog postings] is that I can afford to consider them inconveniences — even with a long gardening blade in my hand, I’m….uninteresting.

There are signs that cycles of beauty will continue: the garden view shifts from tulips to lilacs to peonies.  The fringetrees and viburnums scent the air.  The ninebark has once again turned into a giant pink octopus! It’s mad, it’s gay, it’s wonderful, etc..

FiddleheadsNatArboretumThere are milestones small and great, such as “1st day the kitten eats dry food voluntarily” or “20 years since my last bad breakup” or “15 years with my wife”.  I could go back a bit further, and count the years since I watched Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and sensed my relationship at that time was not going to work… [Did I have the words back then to say “Um, I think we both really focused on Kathleen Turner in Act I more than the plot really required…”?  No.  And besides, that’s sort of what the role of Cat is all about, isn’t it?]

From signs to symbols then: a carefully-folded flag handed to a grieving widow, a silver cup given to honor how quickly a horse can run in the mud, an expensive block of stone engraved with election promises that need not be kept.  Those are little snapshots of, oh wait, I’ve forgotten the term…metonymy?

Here, look at this bonsai.  I’m sure it stands for something.   NatArboBonsai Persistence, probably.  Better than ‘conquering’ in the long run, anyhow.

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Actually, the music I’m hearing right now is from Trout Fishing in America:

NewEnglandRoad-Spring

“All roads lead to my house
Even those I’ve never known!
And when I turn out of my driveway
I’m just
Taking the scenic route home!”

The viburnum blossoms were shimmering along the mountain roadways as we headed back to Elsinore earlier this week. When I looked out into the garden today, yes, ours were blooming too:  the fragrant Korean one in the front yard, and the lace-cap hydrangea-like native in the shady area.  Near to that was the fringe tree, which has settled in nicely, and below both were mountain phlox.  I got a few sage and other ornamentals into the big planter retrieved from the old family homestead, and I’m trying not to think about the heavy metal gravesite gate my grandfather had retrieved from the family plot, set up on a hillside, and then, well, I don’t think we’re going to move it ever again, whether or not any of our folks remain on that mountain.  Maybe it will be a mystery for other people’s children and grandchildren to wonder about?  Why have an elaborate gate near a giant, useless radar dish?  What does the name on the gate mean?  Where where they from? How on earth did it get here?

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So there were five, and three immediately got homes when it came time for them to stop living under our back steps.  The two gingers are being fostered, and I am sure they will be fine, because the amount of adorable they generated was quite impressive, and hand-tamed kittens are typically easier placements than adult cats.  I’ll check with the rescue to find out how they fare.

In the meantime, though, here is our new kitty:

Oh, hai...  Can you make the grass move again, so I can kill it some more?

Oh, hai… Can you make the grass move again, so I can kill it some more?

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The new garden bed is starting to show signs of life.  Crocuses, grape hyacinth leaves, a bit of new growth at the base of the perennials, and little red fists of peony leaves are punching upward from the soil…NewBulbGarden2015I’ve also learned that a happy side effect of leaving more of the aster stalks up through the winter is that it is more difficult for the rabbits to get at the rock iris:

Crocus-RockIris2015And did you notice our first Special Guest Bee for 2015?  Yes!  The First Bee of Spring!!

It’s right near the center of one of the striped crocuses.  Here:

It's a Bee!

Maybe a polyester bee?

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