Almost too warm (15C above seasonal norm) and muggy. Found the first small bunch of dwarf iris flowers mingling with the crocus … but they are going to regret it as the forecast for tomorrow reads thus: “Cloudy. Rain beginning in the morning. Amount 10 to 20 mm. Wind south 20 km/h becoming west 30 gusting to 50 in the afternoon. High 15 with temperature falling to plus 4 in the afternoon. Rain changing to snow in the evening and ending after midnight then partly cloudy. Snowfall amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind west 30 km/h gusting to 50. Low minus 8.”
A few more crocus flowers showed in today’s sunshine and a pair of hive bees were assiduously working them and the snowdrops. Really golden coloured pollen in their sacs.
The ground is too wet for much wandering on though and the grass is looking very threadbare – I can see the time in a couple of years when we will have to do something about it … replace it for instance.
Cooler today, but bright sunshine (senior cat desperate to go out and explore). Grass brown and land soggy, under water in parts. Yesterday;s snowdrops have been added to by clumps of crocus and the first spears of daffodils are starting to emerge.
There is still hope in the world – and landscape plans to be worked on while we wait for the land to be dry enough to walk on without causing undue compaction.
It’s a month since anything was posted here … the parallel birding journal has been busy (http://sparroworks.ca/wildlifing/) but the long winter has meant that there hasn’t been a lot to say about the garden for a while other than to once again record that is buried under snow. Well, finally, on our return from the annual trip to England the snow is disappearing – though we may get more next week the forecasters say – and patches of grass are surfacing, albeit brown and sad looking. Some early spring birds have returned – see the link above – and the long awaited snowdrops have shown themselves. Snowdrops are really hard to get established here, although they grow well enough once they have settled in – this is primarily because they have to be sown from sets which are always unreliable rather than ‘in the green” as nobody supplies them in that form. A bit of a speciality plant in Canada … and one of the best.
And so, the garden journal for 2014 starts here …
Meanwhile, as mentioned above, we have just come back from ten days in the UK where we managed to capture some real spring. Here is a small selection of photographs for those readers who are still snow-bound and need cheering up. Click on a thumbnail for the full-size slide show.
Our garden bird feeders are almost always knee-deep in gray squirrels that scarf down the reject seeds thrown out by the birds above but occasionally a cute and high-speed red decides to join them.
Just before setting out on a birding session this morning (see today’s post at www.sparroworks.ca/wildlifing) we had fine views of a large Coopers Hawk perched on one of our garden feeders. Everyone else had vanished and he will have to find his meal elsewhere for once.
Which is to say, the huge and deadly storm that paralysed the US but which was just another day in paradise up here where we fit winter tires to our vehicles …
A nice dump of snow made everything look shiny and new again so we did some photography up at the arboretum. Winter has its compensations when days like this come along.
It’s the beginning of february and the air is going to be cold and crisp for some weeks to come – but the sun is getting a little higher in the sky each day and you can actually start to feel some heat in its rays when there is no wind.
The garden squirrels really appreciate this …
Meanwhile, in nearby parts of the neighbourhood, things still look wintery. This was the bird observatory, yesterday late morning.
I had long assumed that the WordPress media uploader system is for image files, but now I learn (thanks Helen) that it also handles audio files … so this short post is just a way of seeing how this works.
I will not be making much use of this facility as there is a 2Mb maximum file size limit on media files for WordPress unless you want to go modifying some code … and I do not. Most audio files of any use are going to be bigger than that.
Anyway – if this works, and it should, here is a very short clip of the song of the famous garden Carolina Wren – this is the song that gets us up at dawn during the summer.
We hope you enjoyed that.