Summer Blooms

Hens and Chicks
Hens and Chicks

Echinacea
Echinacea

Daylily
Daylily

These were taken with my Canon Rebel using a Zoom Lens EF-S 10-22mm

I’ve Been Acclimatized

I’ve been acclimatized!  It all started last winter.  We had a very mild dry winter, no complaints here.  That weather pattern carried on into spring, delivering a warmer, drier than normal spring, still very few complaints.  I was able to get my garden planted earlier, did a bunch of dividing and transplanting plants.  I even fertilized and spread weed killer on the yard.  That’s when the rain officially stopped here.  Finally we have had the summer from hell, literally.  This has been the driest year on record and one of the hottest in history.  Absolutely miserable.  We’ve had to water, water and water constantly, driving to me consider getting a second job just to pay the water bill.

Finally the sweltering heat dropped down from the hundreds to a more normal realm of the eighties and low nineties.  Yesterday I walked out of work to go to lunch and was greeted with eighty six degree temperatures and thought it felt very comfortable and mild.  Can you believe that, eighty six degrees and I thought it felt very comfortable and even a little cool with the wind blowing?  I had to look at the thermometer just to confirm the actual temperature.  This morning we took the dogs on their morning walk at 4:30 and it was sixty five degrees, where was my jacket?  This does not bode well for me when we revert back to our normal freezing winter. 

I may have to start wintering in Florida.

Definitely Not A Botanist

Sunday the temperature was around ninety nine degrees and it felt like stepping into a blast furnace when you walked outside.  A great day to sit inside a dark movie theater, munching popcorn and watching the latest movie, or visiting a museum, anything indoors out of the heat. 

But the heat didn’t deter one man, our local groundskeeper.  A very nice man that works hard to mow and maintain the city grounds.  One of his tasks is to weed whack the weeds along the road edge to keep the weeds from growing too tall.  I couldn’t believe he was out in the middle of the day wielding his weed eater attacking the straggly weeds on the other side of the road.  He either doesn’t feel the heat like the rest of us or he has a death wish.  Or maybe I’m just a sissy.

I walked outside to get the burgers off the grill and saw him walking up the road away from my boulder, weed eater in hand and thought surely he didn’t use the weed eater on my ornamental grass that I had just planted a month ago.  Surely not.  Just to be sure I walked down the yard, burgers in tow to check on my grasses.  Sure enough he cut the grasses down all the way to the nubs.  I wanted to chase him down, rip the weed eater out of his hands and club him with it.  All I could think of was the hard work I’d done, digging up the grasses to replant, digging holes in the gravelly ground and replanting the grasses.  Not to mention having to listen to the diatribe from the neighbor, that I placed the granite boulder in the wrong spot.  I carefully watered the grasses until they were growing and looked like they would take hold.  Now the grasses were mere stubs in the ground. 

How could anyone mistake the tall graceful clumps of ornamental grass to common everyday weeds?  Was he blind, using the weed eater as a seeing cane to clear his path?  No, he just has no clue between the difference of a keeper plant and a noxious weed.  The only reason our local groundskeeper is still walking without the need of a cane, was the look of horror and regret on his face, and his comment of “Oh s***” when I explained to him I planted the grasses on purpose that he just mowed down with his weapon of plant destruction.

He’s definitely not a botanist.

Spring the Tantalizing Temptress is Almost Here

Officially Spring starts on Tuesday, March 20th, but it feels like Spring started almost a month ago.  We have had a very mild winter here in the Midwest.  I’m not complaining mind you, I wished for a mild winter this year after two cold snowy winters in a row and I got my wish.  Some flowers are in full bloom.  My Hyacinths have all popped and smell so fragrant.  My Peonies have sprouted, the Crocuses have already bloomed and withered.  Every day brings some new bud or bloom.  I want to play hooky so bad. 

Some friends don’t much care for Spring flowers.  They consider the blooming season too short.  The flowers don’t last long, usually only days for some.  But I look at Spring as an appetizer for Summer.  For a taste of more to come.  Teasing you with some warm days, new greening and hints of more color every day.  In the Spring you have to pay attention and look around to notice the subtle changes going on.  The smells are slight and intriguing.   As I walk the dogs in the early morning, I’ll catch the whiff of a spring bloom, floating in the air. 

Yesterday walking the dogs, I caught a glimpse of a small Forsythia blooming in the woods all alone.  I came back with a shovel and bucket in hand and dug him up then planted him in the yard.  Soon the Dutchman’s britches will be in bloom along the roadside and this year I’m bringing some home with me. 

I would have to say that now Spring is my favorite season, with the teasing tantalizing glimpses of what beauty Mother Nature has to offer.  You just have to stop and look around to find them peaking out under the Winter’s shadow.