||[Mar. 24th, 2019|07:21 am]
Happy spring! We've had cold temperatures early in the week including Wednesday morning dawning with 25°F. Dew points were lower than the temperature, though, so no frost. Our saucer magnolia only has a handful of petals with frost burn: it is still delightfully pink. The turnips and daikon radishes in the driveway island have yellow flowers indistinguishable (at a glance) from mustard flowers. On our north sloping property the redbuds just got to blooming on Friday, but all week when i was out and about i see their pink and purple buds along with the rusty red of maple trees.
Rain came -- an inch over Wednesday night -- and the Haw hit flood stage, and the soil is saturated once again. Places where the soil is bare in the orchard have such a hard clay surface. I walk around wondering if any of my flower seeds will set, and then wonder what magic the bittercress and chickweed have that they are so successful.
We do have a haze of green in the autumn olives, beginning to obscure the view through the woods, and along the woods line where afternoon sun can warm the soil, stilt grass has sprouted, prompting much profanity on my part.
The black cherry trees, which loose their leaves first in the fall, appear to have broken their leaf buds. The one i pollarded has tiny little leaf buds, barely discernible, at the top cut.
Corydalis flavula, what i call yellow fumatory, is blooming. (iNature calls it Pale Corydalis, but if you look that up you find a pink and yellow flower.) Down at the creek there's carpets of spring beauty. There's enough i could imagine foraging a meal (http://www.eattheweeds.com/spring-beauty/) but i won't. I fantasize about an asparagus bed (where the majority of the Houstonia pusilla is now, sigh) and imagine growing spring beauty mixed in, sharing the rich soil. (I also imagine growing saffron crocus in the patch.)
Driving around i see areas all purple from Lamium purpureum, henbit or red (or purple) dead nettle. It's considered invasive so i'm not encouraging it here. Admittedly i don't immediately go to yank it up the way i do a similar invasive Youngia japonica, oriental false hawksbeard, a close relation to dandelion except its flowers are shot up on a tall stalk. I've seen grey-green rosettes all winter and have grumbled at them, occasionally trying to extract the long taproot. Yesterday, i saw the blooming stalks beginning to emerge and eradicated some.
I stopped at the side of the road to examine a different carpet of purple: it turned out it was a small viola, a native johnny-jump-up, Viola bicolor. I added seed for the cultivated European Viola tricolor to a seed order. While V tricolor has been observed in the wild in the Carolinas, it is "uncommon" and found in "lawns, garden borders, railroad rights-of-way," so i won't be creating a problem. I note one gardening site comments that Viola bicolor can be "invasive", which would be great for my ground cover desires.
A male goldfinch is resplendent in breeding plumage and Slugger, the male cardinal, seems brighter as well.