Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Daffodils!

It is Daffodil season and clearly these are popular flowers with the few homeowners who garden, bringing bright flashes of yellow to welcome spring (This being said, only about 5%, 4 out of 80 among the houses I've been riding by, actually have any Daffodils or bother to take care of their gardens).

My best picture so far this year, right beside the front door.

I like the split rail fence framework for these flowers.

A nice bunch in front of a big boulder.

A bunch in a front garden space that could use a bit more care - but the Daffodils keep blooming!

A wonderful thick bunch in front of an older home.

Backlit Daffodils, or strictly speaking frontlit Daffodils photographed from behind, looking out my bedroom window in the early morning sun.

The nicest patch of new blooms in our back yard.



Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The Rabbit!

We have a wascally wabbit that frequents our garden, eating from the lush banquet of flowers Mrs. F.G. provides.  She is constantly banging doors or slapping the window to scare it away.  Sometimes she heads out the door and chases it away!  Of course if we ever did chase it away, others would just pop up to take its place. 

I had discovered this interesting plant that emerged overnight a couple of days ago.  I didn't recognize it immediately but wondered if it would be a Grape Hyacinth when it opened, but the leaf doesn't seem to fit.  I thought it would be interesting to follow with a series of pictures and find out what it is.

Unfortunately, my first look the next morning showed that it had been nipped right off.  Now I'll never know what it is, and I think I spotted the culprit!

Yes, there was our resident rabbit, calmly taking a break between nibbling on some Crocus leaves.  It doesn't do catastrophic damage, but every now and then it eats something we'd rather it didn't.  It's been living under the ramp off the deck.

A friend at church offered to bring over his shotgun, but I think that was a joke!  The best idea I've heard for controlling the rascal is to learn to live with it!  Any ideas what that plant is?


Sunday, April 14, 2024

Back in our Own Garden

Spring continues to unfold, though it remains stubbornly cold, or at least chilly, and wet!  I don't have much new to show you, but the flowers we do have are bright signs of spring.  The cool temperatures just seem to be holding things back.  And the last two days it has rained all day.

The crocuses remain one of the brightest signs of spring.

We have quite a few Daffodils out front, none of which have bloomed yet, but Mrs. F.G. planted several bulbs out back which have come into bloom faster.  So these are the first two Daffodils to appear this spring.

One of the 'candelabra' style Primrose, in a beautiful purple colour.

Our larger Hellebore, or Lenten Rose, seems to have an abundance of flowers, even if they all hang downwards.

Finally, our Forsythia has burst into  bright yellow bloom.  Spring is definitely here in spite of the cool temperatures.


Friday, April 12, 2024

Around the Neighbourhood

On the dry days (it's raining today), I'm getting out for a ride around the neighbourhood, or at least up and down the street.  So I'm now picking up a few flowers in front of other homes.  Here at our place the Daffodils will be out shortly.

This lawn full of bright blue Scilla is near downtown, but it's on a corner we often drive by.

Just around a couple of blocks is this bright pink Heather.  I always think of the moors of Scotland when I see this.

At one house a Robin sat patiently while I got a shot.

But then I looked back at the sky and saw these thunder clouds moving in fast.  They'd been forecast, but not til later.  At this point I was about 6 blocks away, so I turned around and headed for home fast!  I just made it to the garage as the first big fat raindrops splattered down.  This shot is looking over the last house on the street, still under construction.


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Still Down in the Swamp

We slowly drove out of the swamp, catching a picture of some  Coltsfoot growing in the wet gravel and leaf litter right at the side of the road.  On up we went until we got that beautiful view out to Blue Mountain.

It's not often that I get to photograph Coltsfoot in full bloom anymore.

As we head up the road I have driven approximately 200 times before, we get the usual view of the western end of Blue Mountain over the fields.  The accommodation for a week-long field course I taught for 25 years is at the end of this road, but now there are two spectacular new homes on the opposite side of the road.  Quite a change!

We turned around in one of those driveways and headed back down into the swamp.

At the corner we turned a sharp left over the  bridge and got a great view of the Beaver River.  I have ended several paddles at this point over past years.  This post is certainly full of memories for me.

And then the reflections began again.

Mrs. F.G. spotted a tree that a beaver had failed to fell last year - but he tried hard!

We drove a wandering mix of roads after that on our way home.  This is a willow shrub right beside the road.

And this is the Thornbury water tower looming over the deep blue waters of Nottawasaga Bay (the south end of Georgian Bay).  The air was exceptionally clear; that far shore is about 50 or 60 km. away!



Monday, April 8, 2024

Down in the Swamp

Every spring Mrs. F.G. enjoys a drive down into the swamp.  The reflections are intriguing before the leaves come out, and you never know, we might find some Skunk Cabbage or Coltsfoot, or see some interesting birds.  There are several places we look, but this one is right down in the centre of the valley, at the half-way point for a popular canoe route.

This is the Epping Sideroad.  It doesn't go quite all the way through the valley, but it almost does.  And it's the only road that actually cuts through the centre of the swamp.

And right down in the bottom we come to the swamp, inundated at this time of year from the high flow in the Beaver River.  You could paddle among the trees.

We turned left at the corner right before the bridge where the canoe put-in point is for those wanting only half a paddle.  As you can see, the river, in the background, meanders a bit, especially at this time of year.

We headed on through the swamp, with the river in the background and Mrs. F.G. pointing out the interesting reflections.

The water was very still, making the reflections pretty clear.

A tangle of fallen willow branches at the side of the road.  More tomorrow.


Sunday, April 7, 2024

Finally Some Flowers!

The weather has turned and it's bright, sunny, and warmer than the past few weeks.  It feels like spring is finally here.  So Mrs. F.G., my assistant occasional photographer came and got my phone and headed out back.  This is what she found.

My favourite in full bloom, the dwarf Iris.  These ones are shaded, unlike those out front which are in full sun and bloomed three weeks ago.

We now have several small groups of Crocus.

The one clump of Primrose that has burst into bloom.

I don't know how she got this picture of the Hellebore, but here it is.

And the Peony shoots are rising rapidly.  They will be the first of the big showy flowers here.

We actually have quite a large clump of those royal blue Iris, and the clump is spreading.  Here's to spring!


Friday, April 5, 2024

Spring Storm!

The meteorologists gave us fair warning - possibly several inches of snow, hazardous driving, a last blast of winter!  I think they believe we'll be more alert if they scare us!  But like many spring storms, it all fizzled out, though we did have a lot of high winds on Wednesday.  Otherwise it was just 2 or 3 dull wet and still cold days.

Can you see the results of our spring snow storm?  Note the bit of white on top of last year's leaves at the bottom of the photo.

Since it's such a big storm, let me give you a close-up.  It's the white stuff to the southwest of our Hellebore.  That's the sum total of all the snow I've seen.

But while we're passing by, here's a close look at one of the blooms of that flower, deep purple with a white fringe - if only you could crawl on your tummy and look up at the bloom!

The only thing the storm left was a tree covered in water droplets, and continuing cold temperatures.  But if the forecast turns out to be correct, the next four days will be suddenly warm(er) and I'll have some spring flowers to show you.


Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Hints of flowers to Come!

Looking out my window I can see several different early spring flowers beginning to come into bloom.  They're more than just green shoots now, which is encouraging and gives hints of the colour to come - though the immediate forecast is for snow!!  However, as I look ahead it's encouraging, temperatures starting to rise on Saturday and sunshine beginning to break through.

The early April garden, often damp from overnight rains like this.  We leave the leaf litter as much as we can to shelter the bugs until warmer temperatures arise.  I think our snowstick has switched its role to be a garden ornament for the next few months.

A terrible picture, but one Primrose has broken out in blossoms earlier than all the rest.

Only one other Primrose blossom can I find, a single blue flower.

But we have at least a dozen other Primrose looking bright and green.  I guess they are waiting for those warm temperatures.

We do still have those Hellebore or Lenten Rose in bloom.  These have survived under a blanket of snow for a few days and shown no ill effects.

There are also several clusters of Crocus, new for us this year, that promise bits of brighter colour.  The world in te garden is suddenly changing.