Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Early Spring at Violet Acres

After a colder than normal February and first part of March in SW Michigan, we're now enjoying a warmer than normal second half of March. Today it reached 77 F/25 C. It feels downright hot out there.

Male phoebeOur Eastern Phoebes (Sayornis phoebe) are back. They nest on our back porch every year and sing very loudly outside our bedroom window early in the morning.

The picture is a male.

I spotted a tree swallow on the electric wire back in the field a few days ago, but haven't seen it since. It was probably a migrant and not one of "ours".

Male and female mallard in the creekThe Mallard Ducks (Anas platyrhynchos), are swimming up and down the creek eating the tender young cress and looking for the best nesting site.

Hellebores in bloomThe first thing to bloom here in the spring is Helleborus orientalis , commonly called Lenten Rose.

It starts blooming under the snow and always has flowers by the time the snow melts and I think to look.

Not only is it winter tough, it grows and thrives in the dry ground under a large oak tree with almost no sun at all.

February Gold DaffodilsThese are "February Gold", a small, early blooming daffodil that usually flowers the first week of April.

I went out to rake the leaves out of them this morning and was surprised to see yellow. They couldn't resist the warm weather and I'm not going to risk knocking them over with a rake.

I have plenty of other areas to rake. This one can wait until the blooms are gone.

Virginia Bluebell with budsOne of the first areas I rake out is where the Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) grow. This one is showing buds.

The bluebells are naturalized in a large hosta bed where they pop up and bloom in early spring before the hostas break ground.

After blooming they die back until next spring, happily multiplying underground so I never know where they'll pop up next.

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