I’ve heard them for days. The male Eastern Bluebirds are on the march which means, in spite of the snow, spring isn’t far away. I caught one checking out our bluebird house when the dogs and I took a wintry stroll. The scouts are out and hunting so if you haven’t already, check your bluebird houses. Those boys want them clean and tidy. We’ve made a supreme effort to house our bluebirds. They have very specific requirements, and in spite of our efforts, the sparrows sometimes beat them to the punch. When they do, I pull out their nests. You may need to do this several times over the spring and summer months, and like the nest below, even in winter. For the last five years, I do have bluebirds nesting–sometimes in houses and sometimes in trees. Now, their mating calls and songs fill the air. It’s a joyous if raucous noise. Bluebirds were almost extinct, but because people care, they now thrive in many areas.
It may be cold, but I ventured outside anyway. It didn’t feel as cold as it is. It’s frigid today, but just look at those temperatures for the rest of the week. Happy, happy, joy, joy.
I needed Oklahoma’s blue skies, and there is nothing like snow sparkling in full sun. This is Bear’s fifth snow day of the year, and she’s enjoying it just as much as number one. I wonder if she’ll remember the joy when she’s in school a few extra days in May. Probably.
A couple of days ago, I caught these male Cardinals stacked up like a Catholic conclave. Soon, those same males will be fighting for territory and their female girlfriends. We also have a beautiful woodpecker who’s been visiting the bird feeder. I’m working on getting a good shot of him, but he’s skittish. Bill is so good about filling the bird feeder especially when there’s snow on the ground. All the plants I grew for seeds and berries were stripped bare by February. It’s been a hard winter everywhere. Who would expect so much snow in Oklahoma? Not I.
I walked down the hill and looked over the back garden. It still needs cutting back and cleaning out. I don’t have as many deadlines this week so I hope to get to it in a day or so. I can’t wait for that tired feeling that comes from gardening my heart out. I bet you feel the same way. Tired muscles and a happy heart are just what we all need after such a long and dreary winter. I hear birdsong outside my kitchen window. Spring will come. It always does.
I walked down to the lake and the dock. They are so pretty in the snow. There’s signs of life here too. The ducks and geese are playing in the portion of the lake that isn’t frozen. That’s got to make you smile.
Although the dock is pretty, I won’t be going out on it. Those boards are slippery in the snow. I can enjoy it from here. Look at how the shadows play upon the snow.
I don’t want to bore you with too many pictures, but here’s the house from down near the dock. I live on a steep hill so all of my pictures would be crooked if I didn’t straighten them a little. I see I have much work to do once this stuff melts.
I then walked back up the hill and by the Magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia) I planted so many years ago. In spite of the cold, it is still thriving. Like many of the evergreen plants in the garden, it is sporting burned leaves, but it will recover.
Maddie, Tap and I walked around the garden, past the garage border. It’s all cleaned out and ready for seeds and plants. I wish I’d sprinkled the poppy seeds out here before the snow. Maybe I’ll do it now anyway. We walked down the path to the potager, greenhouse and cold frame. I need to move the blue juniper. It was there first, but will get too big, and I need the space for the cold frame so that I will remember to water the plants inside. I am terrible about forgetting.
We took a break and went inside the greenhouse where it’s so humid and warm that condensation dripped on my head a couple of times. I loved every minute of it. I watered the plants and took a couple of pictures. The first one didn’t turn out because my camera lens steamed up in the temperature exchange. You can tell we are getting more sunlight. The tropical plants like the coleus, elephant ears and alternantheras are taking off and growing so much I keep needing to pinch them back. I’ve started all I can. The greenhouse is basically full. I placed an order with Rosy Dawn Gardens for a few more lime green coleus to add to the mix. I hope the dahlias on the floor have been warm enough. Bill and I decided after this winter we are insulating the bottom walls of the greenhouse. We have room between the walls and tables to place insulation. Otherwise, we can’t afford to heat it with propane so high.
The coleus should be here mid-March. They will go into the greenhouse until the weather is more conducive to tropical plants.
Finally, the pups and I headed back to the front of the house. Cabins look so pretty in the snow, don’t you think? Thanks for going with us on our walk. What does your world look like today?