Thursday, April 13, 2023

In the chill of an early morning in April


In the chill of an early morning, damp with an earlier passing rain shower, a huge crane fly hugs the door jam while the lady of the garden passes through quietly to not disturb the gentle being.  She’s aware of the errant ways of the Virginia creeper’s tendrils rushing to claim new territory crossing beneath the overgrowth of earlier risers, and yet she carelessly stumbles without a tumble as one has just tried to trip her.

It is a day of promised work, so she dallies about the paths with her new companion… a cane.  The dandelions have rushed into bloom, dropped their petals, and seeds dispersed in the March storms.  The second flush of blooms have met the April showers with the same exuberance as the first, while their upward smiling faces greet any honeybee passing by.

While the dandelions are as tough as nails, another nonnative has suffered badly in the early March week of twenty-degree mornings.  The lily stems are lying on the ground, stunted and deformed… a miracle they have survived at all.  Another early spring like this one will surely see them meet their demise.

Crane Flies, large and small, hug the north wall of the house; waiting for the day to begin it’s warming up.  A very short season for the species tulips, as the lovely fuchsia petals are already turning a crisp brown along the edges.  She will miss them.  They are a favorite of hers.

Back in the warm house, she changes into jeans and an olive-green wool sweater with a zipper down on each side around the hip area.  It was meant to be a warm casual evening out sweater, but there are no evenings out anymore, so she wears it as a work sweater in the garden.  It suits her with her uncut frizzy hair twisted in the back, pinned in place.

She’s a site that can make one’s eyes sore, but she tries to ignore that part of her faltering beauty and embrace all that crepe that drapes on her so well.  She’ll be spending the afternoon weeding, and hopefully taking a break by June.  April, indeed, has begun her quest to return the best of laid out gardens back to nature.

Barricade to keep cats off the plant table at night. 
After several weeks, no more barricade is needed.

Crane Fly

'Little Beauty' species tulip

Shooting Star

Eastern Red Columbine

Fothergilla gardenii Shrub

American Dogwood

Spring ephemeral, Dicentra cucullaria, Dutchman's britches
Maybe this year it will bloom... maybe.

Trillium cuneatum,
sometimes called Little Sweet Betsy

Orange Eyed Fly,
scavenger of small carrion

Tennessee Land Snail

Virginia Bluebell

Pink buds, 
wrinkled flower petals opening up, 
and fully opened bluebells.

Baby Trillium on right bottom of photo, 
tucked under the Bluebell leaves.

Since the Trilium patches are in the back meadow area, 
ants have collected trillium seeds and brought them back to their nests, 
where they eat the strophioles and discard the seeds.

This is the first year it has a flower.
 it can take up to two years for fresh seed to germinate, 
and another five to seven years for plants to bloom.

Wild Hyacinth
Not native to this area 
Not easy to dig out through the roots of other plants, so it's left in place.

Eastern Redbud tree trunk with flower buds

Pallida Balmatica Iris
The fragrance of Concord Grape juice fills the air around it.

Erigeron pulchellus, commonly known as robin’s plantain.
A biennial that usually dies after it sets seed.

Allegheny Spurge growing with 'Tokudama' Hosta

Blackhaw Viburnum

No longer know the name of this pretty clematis, 
which is sometimes tinged with pale pink or green.

Pupa attached to outside door, maybe a Hover Fly.

Wild Petunia, Ruellia humilis

Copper Iris, Iris fulva, in rain garden

Leucauge venusta, Orchard Orbweaver Spider

"My Mary' Azalea, very fragrant

Tulip-tree Beauty Moth (Epimecis hortaria)
About 2 1/2" wingspan

From the back deck

- Please bear with me until and through this coming summer when I will have cataract surgery on my right eye.  In the meantime, I'm having a bit of difficulty with the quality of my photographs, and catching all the annoying errors in my writing.   

I'm a bit wobbly on my feet on uneven surfaces, possibably from the peripheral neuropathy... I'm not sure.  Falling has become a huge concern for me these days in the garden where the paths are not flat or made of rock instead of stepping stones.  I feel like my husband has become a helicopter husband, always hovering over me.  Drives me crazy.

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