Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Garden Clean-up Begins

Sunday the temperature here in SE Wisconsin reached 57 degrees. Took advantage of the warm weather and near entire thaw of snow to start preparing beds for planting. This meant cleaning all the old plant debris from 70% of my beds that I neglected to remove last fall. Certain plants such as the echinachea I chose to leave to provide seed for the birds. Who knows if they really eat it. But otherwise the days just got away from last fall. I also pruned my rose bushes. They are looking pretty woody and brown. I hope they survived the negative 20-something cold spell we had in January. Also raked the leaves from the northeast rock garden and north facing borders on the front of the house. Noticed tulips starting to sprout in the south facing beds along the house. The buds on the Rhododendrons are small as I knew last fall. I was not as attentive to the watering when I should've been. It will be interesting to see if they blossom this year. I'm planning to plant my salad greens, radishes and few cold germinating ornamentals when I return from Texas early April. Excited for another season with many projects in the works!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Amazing owls

Got out for a late afternoon walk today along the Bark River. The harbingers of spring were all around me....chickadees and cardinals singing and full of activity, flocks of geese flying overhead, red-winged blackbirds "clucking" in the distance and a killdeer calling out his arrival. When I approached the old growth area along the river, I "pished" some chickadees in closer who chattered and called around me. Their small little ruckus must have stirred a Barred Owl who flew in to check me out. As I rounded the bend and neared the owl, she flew off. However I pleasantly came upon a second owl, then relocated the first owl. The pair sat and watched me with vigilance. One gave out a scolding baritone hoot as if to say "get the hell outta here." I am suspicious there may be a nearby nest, given the owls stayed in fairly close proximity to me. Despite some searching, I did not find a nest, but intend to investigate further. Owls are such amazing and graceful creatures. I am always in awe when I see one. Hoo-Hoo.