Tag Archive | Spring

Spring Things

Despite the fact that the weather has been freezing one minute and tropical in nature the next, I did manage to capture some Spring things in the garden with the camera. Because of all the rain, everything is looking very lush and green with flowers bursting out all over.

In fact, everything has been growing so well that even the rabbit can’t keep up. We have had what amounts to a bunny explosion here, of late, but thankfully there have been enough weeds to keep them occupied while my lilies and other tasty bits have continued to flourish unmolested.

On the butterfly front, We had a disappointing outcome to the dozen or so Swallowtail pupa that we kept overwinter, when all but one produced nothing but very mean looking parasitic wasps which were evidently the result of the parent wasp laying its eggs in the caterpillars in the fall. I had all but given up hope when the final Swallowtail emerged from its papery parcel and, after sufficient time to dry off, was released it into the garden. What happened to it after that, I cannot say, but it reminds me of a little anecdote regarding a moth.

When our daughter and her husband lived in Texas they spotted a moth that had fallen into the swimming pool.  It was making a gallant effort to extricate itself without much success.  They were fully clothed at the time (the kids, not the moth) so they couldn’t dive in to assist it but being the tender-hearted people that they are, they searched for the net that was used to scoop out unwanted debris and after much faffing about, finally managed to haul the moth in and laid it gently on the deck to dry whereupon a bird promptly flew down and ate it.

I hope our Swallowtail managed to survive at least long enough to have a look around. We have caught fleeting glimpses of other butterflies  in the garden and received a more prolonged visit from a monarch that appeared to be enjoying the chives by the back door as did a rather large bee which put up with me sticking the camera in its face for only so long before it became irate and chased me off.

Usually at our house, at this time of year, you’ll hear the cry go up, “Ducks are in!”  For nearly thirty years, we have played host to passing mallard ducks that are making their way to the pond at our local park. They’ll return several times and one year they even made a nest behind one of our shrubs. Unfortunately something ate the eggs, but the following year they returned, this time with ducklings in tow. They appear to feel right at home, helping themselves to the bird seed that I put out, sometimes marching up and down on the roof or paddling in the little ground-level birdbath.  They normally arrive first thing in the morning and twice this week I’ve looked out of the window and seen them actually standing on the door mat. They’ll be knocking on the door next.

Strangely enough, ducks are one of the very few species of bird of which I am not afraid. I can’t explain it other than the fact that they don’t do a lot of fluttering, which accounts for the clarity of these pictures as I was standing outside right next to them, rather than taking a hazy shot through a window which is how I get a lot of my bird pictures.

However, it was a different story with this baby robin. The neighborhood probably heard me scream when, going around the garden with the camera and taking pictures of the flowers, I realized that I was within touching distance of this little guy who just sat there looking puzzled as I shrieked and fell backwards into the irises. I ran back into the house to get a longer lens and took this picture from a safe distance.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Chaos

Ann-Christine has certainly given us something to think about this week with her choice of subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Out of chaos comes the promise of Spring. It’s not much, but it gives us hope for the future. Like the flowers, may we rise again from the grip of winter and the troubles that beset this poor old world of ours. Stay safe, everyone. Better days ahead.

 

 

 

Chicago Botanic Garden – Spring In Retrospect

Spring in retrospect at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The colors were stunning and this rare sunny day provided everything that you could hope for in the way of scenic beauty. I also got to the Garden before the rain shattered the tree blossoms which is something I usually manage to mistime.

 

The End Of Spring

Spring is going out in a blaze of color in the garden this year. Thanks to all the rain, the perennials have really flourished, although in some respects it took its toll, knocking down many of the irises and battering the peony blossoms to such an extent that I hardly had time to capture them before they were spent. We could use a little sunshine now.

Tulip Time In Lombard

Lilacs aren’t the only attraction in Lilacia Park in Lombard at this time of year. The tulips certainly get their share of attention and deservedly so.  Seeing all these beautiful flowers reminds me that it’s probably time to replace some of the tulip bulbs that are past their prime in my garden.  I always find it hard to discard any plants that have done so well in the past (it feels rather like a betrayal) but I know those bulbs, that have long ceased to put out any flowers, will have to go.  Time for some new stock and fresh color. Perhaps I’ll try a few of these.

Lilac Time

This is another one of those trips that I try not to miss; my annual visit to see the lilacs of Lombard. Lombard is famous for its lilacs, well around here, anyway. They even have a Lilac Festival which lasts from about May 1st to 19th and includes a Lilac Ball, beer and wine tasting, tours of Lilacia Park and Historical tours as well as a Mutt Strut 5k race with or without your dog. But I’m not here for all that. I’m just here for the flowers.

As I walk through the Park, memories of my mother and my home back in England combined with the perfume of the lilacs almost makes me feel faint, the nostalgia is so overwhelming.

Of course there are other flowers here as well as the lilacs and I am green with envy when I see the gorgeous Crown Imperials. I have several in my garden but they rarely flower.  I see several park employees dashing about the gardens but they are in the throes of the Lilac Time plant sale and will be far too busy to discuss my plants’ shortcomings I’m sure.

The trees are in blossom too and everything just seems to come together in one spectacular Spring display. It’s breathtaking!

This is also tulip time and there are masses of tulips in Lilacia Park but it’s the lilacs that reign supreme at this very special time of year.