Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Seasonal Celebrations: Firsts

That. First day that feels like Spring. You know the one. The feeling is in the air. The cool morning turns into a glorious sunny day that warms your face. The first day that you peal your layers off when you are working in the garden. The one were the birds are singing as loud as they can way up high in the canopy announcing their arrival. Yes. That one.

bluebird (male)
Eastern bluebird (male)

Sometimes that day arrives in north Georgia as early as February but typically it's an early March day. I'm embracing that day. The first tingling of spring.

view into our garden

The 'Okame' cherry trees are always anxious to get the spring party started. They typically explode into color around Valentine's Day but all too often Old Man Winter will quash their efforts. And yet, they still try. When they succeed the honey bees and the finches are very happy. You can read more about my experience watching birds eating their blossoms here.This year their opening was pushed back to early March (almost a month later than normal) due to some crazy winter weather. In fact, I'm amazed that they have blooms at all. Most of them must have been tight enough when the ice covered them a few weeks ago.

Okame cherry tree
Okame Cherry tree

I'm going to be rejoicing all the firsts of this spring season because after this long, wet, cold winter it is time to celebrate the new season with verve. I'm joining Donna at Gardens Eye View for Seasonal Celebration. Won't you come along?

One of my favorite things about spring is seeing the new blossoms bud and then burst open on the trees painting the landscape in soft pastels. The orchard trees usually always follow the cherry trees in their bloom time. This year they are blooming in synchronicity giving pollinators a choice of nectar as they emerge from their winter abode.

honey bee on plum bloom
honey bee on plum bloom

If you'd like to see more on the orchard go to my post A Chorus of Pollinators in the Orchard.

A favorite activity is walking through the woods to find all the early emerging spring blossoms that poke up through the leaf litter and shine on the woodland floor. I have tried to recreate this look in our woodland garden by adding many native ephemerals.

bloodroot
bloodroot

Golden ragwort
Golden ragwort

trillium
Trillium
Sometimes nature does all the work on her own. It is a thrill to find native plants in our woods without any help from us.

Catesby's Trillium
Catesby's Trillium

The coral honeysuckle is about to burst into bloom. Just in time for the arrival of the first ruby-throated hummingbirds. We usually see the first hummers in late March. If you live in the Lower 48 or southern Canada you can report your first sighting at hummingbirds.net.

coral honeysuckle
Coral honeysuckle

It's not just the blooms that are fun to watch but who will be the first to leaf out? The elderberry shrubs seem to have beat everyone to it this year.

elderberry leafing out
American elderberry

You can learn to be a plant observer and report your findings at a citizen science project called Project BudBurst. This is a great way to help in their research.

There is something special about celebrating firsts. They stick in your memory and in your heart. How will you celebrate your first spring day? I hope it is out in the garden.

15 comments:

  1. Oh joy! Are all those things blooming in your garden now?! Wow! Now I'm getting anxious to get back home so I won't miss the ephemerals and the blooming bulb plants. Happy spring!

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    1. The spring ephemerals are not blooming in my garden just yet, but very soon Beth! It's been in the 70's and getting rain. A perfect combination for spring blooms. I just saw some trout lilies today in full bloom in the woods. Magical!

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  2. Wonderful macros, Karin!
    Our spring is so early this year! I hope there won't be any freeze!

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    1. I know how you feel. We've had years where we got a freeze in April and it killed all the blooms and new leaves. It really puts a damper on spring when that happens!

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  3. Oh Karin these are mighty wonderful firsts. And in March. I will have to wait until April now maybe May as we are a few weeks behind and will have cold weather for the start of spring. Still 2 ft of snow to melt here and our warm up is coming to a close...only a few days of high 40s and half the snow was gone.

    I was overwhelmed to see those fruit trees blooming but especially loved the wildflowers already coming up and flowering. I actually am highlighting coral honeysuckle at the end of the month. It won't be blooming here for another 6-8 weeks. I will know that spring is really here when the critters stir and the birds begin to return. They have in western NY but not here yet.

    I am so thrilled you are participating with this perfect celebration post for spring....thanks Karin!

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    1. I hope your winter makes a quick departure Donna. I remember how long it took for those mounds of snow to melt when we lived in Michigan. Seeing the first blooms of the season really puts a spring in the step. We are getting some good spring rains too so more blooms should be on the way soon. Thank you so much for hosting!

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  4. Today was our first day that felt like spring. The only blooms are the snowdrops, though, but I am happy just to be out in the garden doing clean up. I see the crocus and some of the tulip leaves coming up out of the ground. I love that bloodroot! I have a few though I haven't seen them emerge yet.

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    1. Yay! That is exciting, especially after the winter y'all have experienced! It's amazing how fast all your snow melted.

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  5. We are still snow covered even after a couple of 50° days. It may be a little while to see those "firsts" of spring here. I love the entrance to your garden. It really says take this journey. The little bluebird is a nice sight to see.

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  6. The calendar may say spring, but there is still snow on the ground here. So much the better to appreciate your spring flower pictures. The pink trillium caught my eye in particular. I didn't know that trilliums could be pink.

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  7. Flowering trees are a sure sight of spring over here too, it’s lovely to see and brings a smile to my face. Lovely to see your trilliums too, I absolutely adore them and wish I had many more varieties than those three I have. I just have to try to find the Catesby’s trillium over here, beautiful!

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  8. KArin, thank you for visiting my blog. There are some boxes still to be opened, but I feel ready for working again. I know what you mean about spring feeling, and the anxiety about it, it's so natural to enjoy it!

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  9. Karin, I just found your comments in my spam folder. I rescued them, and seeing your blog, I'm so glad I did! I have a very young 'Okame' that I hope to see bloom this year. Yes, that first warm day is one for celebration. Thank goodness winter is on its way out.~~Dee

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  10. Happy spring! I love the image of the bee! I have seen a few bees out already. I am glad to see the end of winter!

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  11. You have trilliums, I am so envious! I bought a Sweet Betsy trillium that is putting up leaves but hasn't bloomed in a couple of years.

    Your bee and bluebird pictures are gorgeous!

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"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

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