Jack’s Walk

 

Green! ©voyager, all rights reserved

More green! ©voyager, all rights reserved

Ha! The forecast was wrong. It’s a beautiful sunny day with blue skies and the air is filled with that earthy scent of spring. I can hear birds singing and the neighbourhood is full of busy squirrels running here and there doing all the things that squirrels do in the spring. Jack was feeling energetic today, too, and he pranced and wagged for most of the walk stopping often to follow a scent or leave a splash of pee. We went past the high school just as the kids were going for lunch and Jack schmoozed with a few gaggles of teens and left happiness in his wake. Best of all today, green is back. The grass is turning a lovely kelly green and there are bunches of fresh green tulips and hyacinths and daffodils getting ready to flower. I can hardly wait.

The Art of Book Design: A Floral Fantasy

Walter Crane. A Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden. London: Harper, 1899 — Source.

When I started this series I envisaged it as being about the art of book cover design, not about the art between the covers.  The art between the covers of this book, though, is available on-line and it’s gorgeous so I thought I’d share a few interior plates. The book is a lighthearted look at the “personalities” of plants done in verse and gorgeous art nouveau design. [Read more…]

Tree Tuesday

I love to see the bright, fresh blossoms on flowering trees in early spring, but around here the show hasn’t started yet and the trees seem to be waking up very, very slowly. In Germany, though, the cherry trees are in full bloom and Avalus has taken some gorgeous photographs to share with us.

©Avalus, all rights reserved

[Read more…]

Barberry Flowers for Caine

Something very special from Nightjar.

The Barberry shrub I planted last year in Caine’s memory (https://freethoughtblogs.com/affinity/2018/08/22/a-living-remembrance/) is blooming right now and the bees have been visiting it. This Sunday I was finally able to take a few photos and I thought I should share.

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

[Read more…]

Jack’s Walk

Hello, my pretties. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Today is one of those ‘April Showers’ kind of days, but Jack and I got our timing right for a change and managed to stay dry for our whole trip around the duck pond.  It’s still blustery, but yesterday’s -4º has given way to today’s +13º and the change is quite pleasant. It’s also pleasant to look around and see signs of spring everywhere. Daffodils and tulips have sprouted, the swans are outdoors at the park again and the trees get slightly fuzzier everyday. Even the lawns are starting to green up. A bit of sunshine would help, but with or without it Spring will keep inching forward. I’d like to poke it with a broom to make it hurry up.

You’re a sight for sore eyes. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Tree Tuesday

The spring arrival of cherry blossom season is cause for celebration across Japan. There are published charts that track the progress of the blossoms from south to north and every region has festivals to bring people outside to enjoy the splendid views. I’ll never get to Japan to see the spectacle in person, but thanks to the internet I can still see the splendid views and live a bit vicariously. I’ve gathered a few of my favourite photos of cherry blossoms in Japan for you to see as well. Enjoy.  [Read more…]

Monday Mercurial: Bee happy!

Apparently, one side of our garden has been overtaken by common sand bees/ mining bees, andrena flavipes.

I noticed a lot of activity last week and right now it’s all buzz and swarming. I was at first confused since wild bees are usually solitary and it took me all of my google -fu to find out that the most likely explanation is that it’s a nesting aggregation and the huge traffic we’re seeing right now is the drones hanging around to have a lot of sex before they die, so in a few days the whole thing will be over.

This is a relief because in about two weeks the workpeople will start rebuilding our garden stairs and stuff and I was worried that the bees would get in their way or would have their home destroyed. As far as I’m concerned, having those bees here is like a knighting for my garden as an insect friendly space.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

At work!

©Giliell, all rights reserved

A different kind of wild bee.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

That fruit tree is currently BUZZING.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

What the storm did

You may remember that I talked about a storm about two weeks ago, and when I went for a walk last week, I could see the devastation in parts of the forest. In one spot, the gnarly pines paid a high tribute and their trunks are lying there, ready to be removed (that part is not part of the nature reserve), with the branches being left to the wilderness.

A look at the trees shows you the power of the storm.

©Giliell, all rights reserved
This fellow was already hollowed out by rot.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Well, I got some loot to take home, but I would have preferred the trees alive.

Precious Tulips

From Nightjar,

These photos were taken in the last day of winter, just before the equinox. I brought these little red tulips from my grandma’s garden after she died and I planted them in a pot to be sure I wouldn’t lose them. It turned out to be a great idea and by moving it around I was able to capture them in different light conditions.

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

Spring Flowers

It’s that wonderful time of year when flowers start bursting out everywhere. Even in the sidewalks. Just ask Avalus.

Some tiny flowers, which are growing in the space between the plates of the walkway in front of my department. I wonder what insect visits them? The flowers are about 4 mm across. I got funny looks (again) by people passing by, while I was half prone on the walkway to get the pictures. Well, their loss for not noticing these tiny treasures.

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

Hens and Chicks ©voyager, all rights reserved

I found my first growing thing of spring today. It’s a brave little hens and chicks lured out of its nest by the bright spring sun. Too bad for the little hen, though, that it’s still bloody cold. The high today was +5º, but there’s a bitter north wind blowing making it feel more like minus 5 instead. It’s supposed to get up to +11º by the end of the week, but then dip back down to zero again for a few more days. Sigh. Is it just me, or is spring taking a bit too long to get here this year?