March 17, 2015

Martha O'Kennon

Spring came for a while on March 15.

Can you believe that all that snow that was still on the ground last week is gone? We had a shockingly warm day yesterday and suddenly flowers opened and little creatures began to appear.

Click on any picture to enlarge it. Click again to REALLY enlarge it.

Last week we saw the snowdrops in my neighbor's yard, the sure sign that spring is going to come. The second flower to bloom in my yard is always the winter aconite. A friend gave me starts on them years ago and over those years they have spread and spread (although the walkway to my new workshop is now sitting on about half of them). Their bright sunny yellow is so cheerful after a winter of flowerlessness. The big surprise was that yesterday when it got warm and the sun came out the honeybees came to visit. The third flower to bloom was this small beautiful purplish crocus. These crocuses are the earliest possible ones. Later we will have early orange ones, and later the larger types will wake up.

A couple of days ago, I found this 2mm long spider running about on the rocks around the pond. (To convert, remember that 3mm is about an eighth inch.) It was very evasive and ducked under the rocks each time I moved. The next day this big fly was also on the rocks.

But the BEST was the mourning cloak butterfly that appeared yesterday! It was fluttering near the door, but when I opened the door it took off and sat unassumingly on the ground. I got this one picture from a weird angle but when I stepped down one step it disappeared. Later I could look out the upstairs window and see it flying in the trees above the shop.

Two big changes in the pond. I told you that 10 out of the 11 fish we had last fall have survived so far. The pond is full of "string" algae. I bought two bottles of "Pond Perfect" today to start working on that icky green scum. Oh sorry, I was only supposed to say nice things about the pond. Well, I just noticed that the old lily plants that had been in suspended animation all winter actually have buds (well, one bud) and leaves that didn't die and are just waiting to do their thing.

Also, do you remember my telling you that the little black fish would turn orange this year? I managed to photograph them through the murk and look at that. There is a patina of gold starting to spread on their sides.

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copyright Martha O'Kennon 2015