Articles for the Month of March 2010

Springing forth

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) opening up

The first of the Winter Aconite have come into bloom.  These are the wild ones that escaped from another part of the yard and have somehow self-sown 50 feet away from the original clump.  The latter are still under a pile of snow.  However, The Camellia garden where most of the Hellebores live is nearly free from snow and they are beginning to do their thing.

Hellebore opening up

Hellebore arising

The snow is rapidly disappearing and with the temps forecasting in the fifties for the next week we should see a lot of green grass very soon.

The backyard emerges from a winter blanket

I will, however, miss some of this melting as I’m off to Florida for a week to see the Baltimore Orioles emerge from hibernation.  This is another springtime ritual…

Watch for flying objects…

I was crouched down underneath the Witch Hazel today trying for a shot of the yellow flowers against a pretty blue sky when I heard a commotion in the forsythia bushes next to me.  I glanced over just in time to see a hawk about 4 feet away from me.  It had apparently just struck a smaller bird.  We stared at each other through the branches for a moment and then I finally had the presence of mind to raise my camera, but too late!  He launched with the small bird in talons.  I took pictures as best I could having neither the right lens or the time to look through the viewfinder.  As it turns out in looking at the pictures later I believe that the small bird was a cardinal — the beak is a giveaway.  It was amazing how fast the hawk could fly even carrying the other bird.  They are certainly the masters of the sky.  I can’t tell which hawk it is from the pictures, but something tells me I will get another chance to see in the future…

Hawk with Cardinal

Hawk w cardinal as he flys away

And oh yes, I did get the witch hazel against the blue sky….

Chinese Witch Hazel (Hamamelis mollis) against the blue sky