Saturday, March 12, 2016

Spring Is Sprung

Spring is sprung,
the grass is riz,

No, it ain't. But the snow is disappearing, the sun is warm and I'm detecting at least a small spark of optimism in the air. It's been a fairly normal winter, if an entire winter compressed into about two months can be considered normal. Not that we're homefree yet, it's still cold at night and the buds on the Maples have not yet begun to swell. Only once the buds swell do I know Spring is really almost here.

One wonders where the boidies is...

Well, quite a few of them are at my feeders. Lots of the usual suspects all winter, but now the Red-winged Blackbirds are back. When I go out to fill the feeders in the morning I usually hear the Bluejays - they like to announce to all that the food-lady is coming - but on Thursday I also heard the distinctive rusty hinge Kin-ka-ree of the Blackbirds. I've had a small flock of Turkeys around lately too. They aren't very wild any more. Yesterday and today they crowded around as I was filling the hanging feeders. Seven of them, two of them large Toms. One of the Toms gave me quite a nice show, spread his tail, fluffed his head feathers and strutted around. Hard to strut in soft melting foot-deep snow, but he did his best. I was impressed, couldn't tell if his hens were.

Some say the boid is on the wing,
but that's absoid, for everybody knows,
the wing is on the boid.

Good place for it.

Squirrels and chipmunks are out too. The squirrels race along on top of the snow and chase the smaller birds away from the open bird feeders but the chipmunks act as though they aren't quite awake yet. Perhaps the snow surprises them. I wonder what it would be like to go to sleep in the fall and wake up months later to everything white. Are they stiff from lying curled up so long? Confused by the way everything looks different? Do they remember how to get back into their caves? Must do, there are way too many of them.

I've bought vegetable seeds. Might be an exercise in frustration given all the critters around here that have nothing better to do than watch my veggies closely enough to get them seconds before I do. I have a vague idea that something might be done with floating row cover material... maybe.

Seeds of annual flowers are harder to come by. Seems to me that this year the displays in the big stores all run to many veggies but few flowers. I did find white Cosmos, though, score! Red Zinnias, no hope. White Cleome, ditto. Milkweed seeds, although the instructions on the back said to plant them 'where you want them to grow'. Last year I quite proved to myself that yes, you really do have to stratify Milkweed seeds. If you don't, you might have one or two germinate, but if you do, they all germinate. So no point in starting them indoors as you'll only have to wait anyway. Just plant 'em and stick the pots outside and wait for April or May. One other thing I learned last year, the seedlings have really long taproots. The sketch here is no exaggeration!

Now all I need is a nap in the sun... Yup, it's spring!