New Gardening Year!

digitS'

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We have had 2 days with 70°f (21°C) afternoons. Several more days, going quite a ways back, have been in the high 60's. Today, the wind is supposed to kick up again and there may even be a Thunder⚡Storm! However, it's a very nice☀️morning :).

What have been your signs of a new growing year that have lifted your spirits - just seeing them, or catching the fragrance or sound or feeling their touch?

I've seen Robins around for a few weeks but there was one on my fencepost eyeing the peach tree profusely blooming above his head. I know what he was thinking, "Would this be a good place for a nest?"

Friday, I saw 2 ants. (From peach 🌸 blossoms to ants 🐜 :D) They weren't carpenter ants that make me defensive or the biting kind that make me cringe! Just a couple of your everyday ants out for a stroll on the concrete.

Here's a more attractive bug ;): I saw the first butterfly of the year. He or She was on my deck and I thought, as soon as I set these plants down - I will go get DW to see this Admiral Butterfly! Of course, as soon as I moved, it flew awaaayyy .....

🦋
Steve
 

Zeedman

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DW's hyacinths are in full, fragrant bloom in the front yard, and the grape hyacinths are a field of blue on the South side of the house. I took a tentative tour of the yard yesterday, and the ground is nearly dry enough to start working outside again.

Funny you should mention butterflies, @digitS' ; I was approaching the remaining tree limbs from the felled mulberry tree, and saw what looked like a piece of weathered cloth blowing in the breeze. It was a Mourning Cloak butterfly, sunning itself! That brought back good summer memories... in my youth I once found a cluster of mourning cloak caterpillars & raised them to adulthood.
 

flowerbug

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killdeer sitting on eggs (in the back fenced gardens and now a different one out front in the unfenced gardens - the one out front is not as tame and makes a lot more noise. the one in the back is so tame it didn't make a single noise with both me and Mom working out there and walking around even just a few feet away).

i hadn't seen a single black ant in the house for over a week and a half and mentioned that to Mom as i'd just finished my walk around looking for them. i look down a few seconds later and there is one walking across the floor. we have a small nest somewhere in the walls of the house but i have not been able to track down where it is exactly to get it all caulked shut and there are enough gaps that it will be a challenge to get them all anyways.

the other week, hearing the catbirds for the first time of the season and then today seeing the brown thrashers which i didn't see at all last year. i call them cinnamon birds because of their brighter color.
 
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digitS'

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I was out scraping Kentucky Blue Grass out of a garden path this Morning when a Cabbage Butterfly showed up! It was more interested in the kale plants than me, I guess we can figure out why ;). Where do Mourning Cloak caterpillars hang out, @Zeedman ?

Thrashers are more out in the Columbia Basin ...

We don't have many Catbirds here, @flowerbug . A couple made a nest in a bush between 2 of my former gardens one year. I think we nearly drove each other nutz!

Steve
 

Zeedman

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Where do Mourning Cloak caterpillars hang out, @Zeedman ?
There was a large group (probably somewhere around 100) in a cluster of short willows that had sprouted from a stump. This was outside of town along a roadway, so I went home to get a jar. I cut an armful of branches & kept them in water to keep the caterpillars supplied with fresh leaves. I didn't know what butterfly they would become until I looked up the caterpillars later, so it was a pleasant surprise.
 
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digitS'

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Nine AM, I just opened up the hoop house and greenhouse a little for their day in the sunshine.

What happens as I open the door? Out flies the first Bumblebee of the Season right over my head. :D I saw him in there on windy yesterday and was wandering how possibly he might be caught to be carried outside. It was almost as though he was waiting to fly out this morning - enough of this confinement bbzzzz - dandelions call!

Steve
 

Zeedman

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With the grape hyacinths blooming, we should be seeing the first honey bees... but it's been unseasonably cool lately, so they are no-shows thus far. Only low 40's today & tomorrow. The ground bees were out a couple days ago though, feeding on box elder flowers of all things??? Those tiny flowers must have a lot of nectar, they were really swarming up in the branches. :rolleyes:
 

Alasgun

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My bees have been flying for about a week now, they’ll start once it reaches 40. The irony is our spring came on us so suddenly this year, they must be eating Chinese take out; cause theres not a bud to be found; yet.
 
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