Bits

12 May

This week has been so warm that trees are leafing out rapidly.  Lawn mowing.  Weeding.  Planting. Transplanting.

The gnats and black flies are out and biting.  Every outdoor surface is covered with a layer of yellow pollen from the spruces.  The beginning of the week I could still hang out clothes. But not now.  I took Goldilocks (the snake) outside for a couple hours yesterday.  It was interesting how she watched me.  I put her in the grass just near the edge of the garden where there was plain soil to see which she would choose.  She chose the sun-warmed soil and slithered over to the cold frame and proceeded around its perimeter.  When I would walk over from my weeding to see what she was up to she would freeze when she caught sight of me.  After I was out of her sight for a couple minutes she would proceed her slow way.  She eventually turned the second corner into shade, started to turn around, then just went up and into the cold frame.  After awhile she started coming out but I walked over to see where she was and she froze.  Like a small child–“maybe if I don’t move she can not see me”.  She went back in the cold frame under the lettuces and poppies and coiled there.

Pounce came walking over.  He smelled that snake, following the path she took and eventually jumping himself into the cold frame.  Which I put a stop to. Which makes me wonder, after reading an article this week: scientists have “discovered” that mice “sing” in voices too high for us to hear.  Can snakes hear mice sing if cats can smell a snake’s passage?

The Orioles have been back for about a week.  They are eating the nectar from the flowering quince.  Earlier this week one was catching small insects in the blossoms of the plum tree.  Can you find it?  This is a close-up of the photo taken about 40 feet away.  I sat at the base of one of the large spruces and waited for them to return to feed.

For those who are squeamish: do not look at the next picture.  It shows the snails that were in the large brown trout Jay caught yesterday.  They are on newsprint for relative size.  Is that not interesting?

Up in one of the small trees being grown for some Christmas  a robin keeps making a noisy exit each time I am near weeding the flowers.  This is why:

The three fish are in the process of being ready to be smoked.  The flesh of the last is bright orange-red–like a wild caught salmon.  Jay attributes this to crayfish in its diet.  And perhaps living in a spring-fed pond?

This is another kind of currant.  It is a shrub: the flowering currant.  The small flowers are incredibly fragrant.  They have a clove-like scent which wafts over the lawn all times of day.  Wonderful.

The first clematis.  A shrubby kind and the first time it has ever bloomed.  For years it got trampled and barely survived; it lives just above the garden too near where we walk.  So I have been pampering it the past couple years; this year it seems happy and has a couple dozen blooms coming.

2 Responses to “Bits”

  1. garden2day 13 May 2011 at 6:17 AM #

    Beautiful photos of nature.

  2. SandySays1 14 May 2011 at 9:07 AM #

    I loved your pics, too. Summer is here- the tarpon have arrived and it’s 90+ everyday.
    Sandy

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