March 1st, 2021


Happy March 2021

Here we are, as Christine and i tell each other, in the future. I am on out screened in back porch, essentially unchanged since we bought the house, other than some electrical outlet work, removal sof some of the many many wind chimes, and the addition of some furniture to the furniture left by the previous owners. I'm on the lounge they left. It is about 60°F damp, and overcast. I hear trucks and cars as they pass on the road, and airplane over head, a very loud chorus of frogs from the creek branches north and south of our house, crows in the distance, chickadees and other songbirds up close.

I've not seen any bluets this year, and worry that in the area they were most numerous i have changed too much for them to have lived (trampling some parts and burying, mulching others). I check the glade, where i hope they would thrive, to no effect.

No sign of spring beauties, not where the bricks were stacked by the masons, nor in the back porch moss area, nor where i've seen them wild. No sprouts on the peonies.

The star of Bethlehem continue to sprout everywhere along with the daffodils. I see a few buds on the daffodils. The Lenten rose, transplanted to the garden plot to protect it from the masons, has bloomed. An elm and a red maple that have great southern exposure are budding. There's no hint that the saucer magnolia is going to bloom. It's seemed such a mild winter, i would have thought plants would be rushing along, but -- while we haven't had the cold snap that other places had last month -- it has been pretty consistently frosty in the mornings.

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I keep getting sucked into plant searching. I will not buy more bulbs for the berm: i need a place to plant the seedlings i am growing. I will not buy more trees: i will wait for next fall. (I so want Chickasaw plums, varieties selected for larger fruit and better flavor. The few places i know have them out of stock. And i want some selected elderberries. But i have Chinqapins -- a shrubby cousin of chestnuts -- and native crabapple seeds sitting in moist soil outside, waiting to sprout this spring.)

Yesterday i lugged branches from near the glade, where the arborist had left them after cutting down the sweet gums that were too close to the back porch. At the drive circle i chipped them and added them to the growing pile. Yes - -i did get the chipper running again!

But now i can't start the wheeled string trimmer.

On Saturday i walked through the woods (since i couldn't start the string trimmer. There are two colonies of Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima). I think two of the large trees i had noticed a couple of winters ago are dying from the scrape bark-apply glyphosphate technique. I have found a few other large trees (smaller than the big ones, but still mature) which i can treat, and i think i'll give the same treatment in a more select manner to some of the saplings or sprouts. The American linden i planted with my nephew back there seems to be OK.

Anyhow, all morning puttering here. I don't know where my time goes (well, some goes to looking at plants.)
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