Mary's Veggie Garden

April 16, 2010

A Compressed Spring

Filed under: Flowers,Gardening,Weather — marysveggiegarden @ 6:29 pm

This spring has been quite unusual. It started late and is passing in a flash.

The late start was caused by our last snow fall on 2/25:  8-10″ of snow followed immediately by 2″ of rain, followed by temperatures that were cold enough to prevent the snow from melting for over a week. Many of us had snow until mid-March.

Then suddenly, March 31, unseasonably hot weather arrived.  From April 1-10 the temperatures reached the mid-70s or even 80 nearly every day.

The weird weather has compressed spring. My crocuses bloomed late but almost everything else has been early.  Since 2005 I’ve been tracking the start of bloom for several plants in my yard. For anything that usually blooms after 4/1, this is the earliest they have ever bloomed.

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
yellow crocuses bloom 03/02/05 03/14/06 03/27/07 03/22/08 03/24/09 03/24/10
mini daffodils bloom 04/09/05 03/31/06 04/20/07 04/10/08 04/05/09 03/30/10
full size daffodils bloom 04/15/05 04/01/06 04/18/07 04/09/08 04/03/09 04/02/10
forsythia in yard in full bloom 04/15/05 04/03/06 04/23/07 04/14/08 04/12/09 03/29/10
Norway maples bloom 04/19/05 04/14/06 04/23/07 04/16/08 04/15/09 04/04/10
violets bloom (small white) 04/15/05 04/07/06 04/25/07 04/15/08 04/06/09 04/04/10
dandelions bloom 04/18/05 04/02/06 04/23/07 04/18/08 04/26/09 04/14/10
white hyacinths bloom

04/23/07 04/14/08 04/12/09 04/08/10
Oak beside driveway blooms

04/25/08 04/28/09 04/15/10

Yesterday morning, while weeding at Locust Grove, I noticed the grass is sending up flower stalks. Sure enough, by afternoon, my allergies kicked into high gear, the earliest ever. I am allergic to grasses – every one tested. Twenty-two years ago my allergies started in mid-May. Now grasses are pollinating a month earlier.

I’m a believer in global warming.


April 10, 2010

Turkeys in Action

Filed under: Wildlife — marysveggiegarden @ 1:21 pm

April 5 was a beautiful day, with blue sky, sunshine, and warmth. The local wild turkey flock, 12-15 birds, was wandering the neighborhood. The big Toms were strutting their stuff with the top Tom completely blue in the face – head, neck, and wattles. The lesser Toms were blue headed, but displaying red wattles.

A Most Magnificent Tom Turkey

Eventually the flock settled down to forage at the top of the hill next door where their barking caught our attention. Their noise sounds a lot like the yappy little dog across the street.

One hen stood out – precisely because she wasn’t standing. She was belly down on the grass – very unusual. The two Toms strutting back and forth behind her seemed completely out of her sight.

Finally action! Mr. Blue-in-the-Face jumped up on the hen’s back. With wings  and tail drooping, and while balancing precariously, he kneaded the hen’s back half with his formidable claws. That went on for several minutes while we imagined the pain. The hen just looked stoic.

Meanwhile Tom #2 stopped strutting and stood by the rock pile doing a little dance of his own – if another hen had been willing, he would have been been kneading her back. That was one frustrated bird.

Finally the turkey couple twisted their tails to opposite sides in a very awkward looking way – then seconds later, the Tom jumped to the ground and resumed strutting.  The hen got to her feet, spent a minute settling her very ruffled feathers, then started foraging.

I think we just watched the start of another 6-8 turkey chicks.

Sorry – no pictures of this bizarre scene – we didn’t want to disturb the birds by opening the door.

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