April 8, 2018

Martha O'Kennon

April 7, 2018. No snow but noon daylight temperatures still hovering near freezing temperature. Say something good about this spring? Sure. This cold that won't go away means the classically spring bulbs are able to take their own sweet time about showing off the progress. Here are some of the lovelier pictures of white hellebore and crocuses. The winter aconites are slowly fading meaning the only points of gold are in a few orange crocuses here and there. The squirrels seem to have done a good job of moving a few bulbs out into the wider flower bed. This patch has been a total splash over the past two years. Here is what we have by now. These day lily plants will blossom into those Tall Orange Daylilies, as in this photo from midseason 2017. (That weevil seems to be the Black Vine Weevil.) Finally see how many more purple buds are springing up in the Purple Hellebores.

Remember that there is information in the name of the file for each image. You can see it by mousing over the image - look at the lower left of the screen. Or you can click on the image to get to the (usually) larger image. Then the info is displayed in the address line above. Sometimes the second click will actually display a different view of the original image.

The winter aconites are just going by as we speak, but the variously colored crocuses are still in their young heyday. Next we see the aconites changing guard with the purple reddish pollen-bearing crocuses. The honey bees are still working the crocus fields.

Here's a fairly good-sized fly (in the housefly family and possibly the fly in the aconites above) - I like the way its wings make a shadow on the dry leaves that shows up the intricate pattern on the leaves. The next two are female fungus gnats, also a kind of fly. I've decided that one way to distinguish the fungus gnats from our common midges is the long long antennae that mark the fungus gnats.

Now midges share some physical similarities with mosquitoes, and the two are often confused. The first of these is a Chironimid midge. Next is one of the biting midges. The last one is one I can't tell midge from mosquito. Sigh....

Here are two more mystery flies. And now - someone we've been eager to spot out of the water. This is most likely the frog that was so green last fall, or at worst a relative. It seems to have put on some winter fat. We will be watching it or a relative this spring to see how long it will hang around.

This is a bit of a sad story. It was cold so much and yet the snow pack melted or sublimed quickly so that the part of my red rhododendron that was uncovered by the snow seems to have been dealt quite a blow. But the bottom bits now seem to be all right. The snowdrops are coming into their own now. And the scylla (or squills) are still on their very sleepy way.

Here is the shell of one of those European escargot snails. They may have begun to weaken somewhat in the past few years. I say this because a Black-eyed Susan volunteered and lived all summer in the soil in the back yard. (Usually this kind of snail destroys the whole plant of any Rudbeckia or Echinacea plants that I plant in the ground. That's why I buy them every year and keep them in pots on the deck. Here is one of the very little spiders that I can now identify - it's a Common House Spider and quite a little baby. The Running Crab Spider in the last picture is actually easy enough to spot and to some extent to identify now.

Here is the one springtail I spotted this week. They are still so tiny that it is hard to know there is one right in front of you! So I'll fill in with a few more crocus family sittings. The grape hyacinth leaves are still red from being under the leaves for so long, but is still intent on blooming.

More crocus pictures! I know you never get tired of these little jewels. A bright golden crocus all by itself. A group of pure white crocuses. OMG! I forgot to add this one little beetle, the Painted Ladybird! Doesn't it look as if the Painter slipped up a bit here and there?

Well, Spring is here or maybe it isn't. Keep in touch! In places where it is becoming fall, I hope it's gorgeous and filled with daisies to the horizon! Keep well. (The flu seems to be weakening here but some people are still getting over with it.)

Love, Martha

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copyright Martha O'Kennon 2018