Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring, So Far

I'm trying to enjoy the spring weather as best I can, and be done with whining about having walking pneumonia, so yesterday I headed outside with my camera. It shouldn't contradict medical orders too much to take photos, should it?

The above picture is of a squirrel's nest in a hollow spot in our tulip poplar. Living as it does just a few feet from our front window, this critter has been endlessly entertaining over the years. I don't know if we see the same one all the time, or if we are seeing a succession of squirrels. I looked online, and found that they live for 7-8 years, so I think we've had this one for a while, which explains it's complete unconcern for us and our (now deceased) cats. I'd love to know if it's male or female! Are there babies up in the tree? Is that the reason for the major housecleaning it is apparently undertaking, judging by all the junk it has tossed out of it's hole? I learned that the nests are called "dreys", and they usually make two or three in the same tree. When one gets too flea-ridden, they change nests for a few weeks. I guess that's one way to deal with a dirty house!
Here are the daffodils, heroically pushing up through the heavy mulch of leaves that should have been removed last week by the gardener. Poor things! But I suppose they have to do this in the wild.

A previous owner of this house planted these tulips, which now come up through the oak-leaf hydrangeas as a spring underplanting. I love it! I couldn't have planned this if I tried. They bloom before the hydrangeas leaf out, giving a nice shot of color to that spot, and then their dying leaves are hidden by the shrubs. I'll try to remember to post a picture of them in bloom.

Finally, I've got snow drops blooming all through the Japanese spurge. Again, they will do their thing and then be hidden by the groundcover when blooming is done.
I hope your spring is going well, and you take time to enjoy all the signs of life bursting out around us.


Rose said...

I think getting outside and enjoying some of this warm fresh air would be just what the doctor ordered! I had no idea squirrels lived that long; you know, I've often thought about moving some days rather than try to clean up my house:)

Don't worry about the gardening. I've been raking some of the leaves off my flowerbeds, too, but if we have a heavy freeze again, those tulips will appreciate the extra cover.

Nan said...

I've always meant to do that kind of planting like your tulips and snowdrops but never have. It's such a great idea. I loved seeing the squirrel's nest. Is it a gray or red? We have the red ones, and several! I think 8 is the highest number I've seen at once, but usually there are 3 or 4 eating from the feeders. Around here, the gray ones live in town and the red ones in the country.

Nan said...

I just read Rose's very funny comment about moving rather than cleaning, and it reminded me of a woman I'd heard of who never cleaned her walls, and when they got too bad, she'd have them repainted! Sounds good to me. :<)

Joyce said...

Nan, our squirels seem to be gray. The way I understand it, there weren't any here, and somebody back in the 19th century thought it would be "cute" to have them on the university quad and imported a couple. Needless to say, they thrived!

I remember when our kitties blessed us with fleas a few years ago. I can see why moving would look like a good option! They were NOT easy to get rid of!