Forward - From the Heartland of Carolina

This is a continuing story of the journey Forward shared by 2 people, Lynne and Tom. Both love to LIVE life to it's fullest, which currently means spending lots of time outdoors, working on various projects from gardens to patios, flowers to vegetables, sunrises and sunsets, birds and woodland critters, and spending time with family. Don't forget to check the monthly archives, and please feel free to leave us a comment so we know you stopped by.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The Quest for Spring

Well, today, March 1st, is considered the first day of meteorological Spring. The calender says that Spring begins March 20th this year. Naturally, we'd prefer the former date to the latter. Toss in a couple days of 70's and low 80's, and the tease to get out and do some serious gardening really gets going.We know better, however.

Another cold front comes through though, and winter refuses to let go, with temperatures falling into the upper 20's at night. We've seen a couple cycles like that lately, and there may be more ahead, but each day, there's a little more daylight, the sun is slowly creeping higher in the sky, and little by little, the soil is warming - slowly, ever so slowly, but still warming.

With all that being said, I took the camera out in the yard over the weekend on a quest to find Spring.

The birds - they know the season is changing. Their chirp is chirpier. Their flight is flightier. They seem to be feeding with a purpose lately. Some, especially the male Cardinals, are getting more territorial. Bluebirds are investigating the boxes. Downy woodpeckers are carving new cavities in dead branches up in the pines. Chickadees, Titmice, and Nuthatches seem to be everywhere.

Yellow is starting to pop around the yard. Clumps of Daffodils...which seem to be early this year. We have pictures of these same ones blooming on March 20th, a few years ago.

Forsythia are filling out nicely, thanks to the recent warmer days

The Violas always rebound quickly after the frosty nights that seem to put them to sleep temporarily

Outside the back porch, the Daphne is sharing flowers and fragrance, that on milder days, drifts inside through the open doors and windows.

Heading into the woods, the Winter Jasmine has been tossing out more yellow blossoms
This Camellia has been blooming since December, and still has many unopened buds to go

Judging from the swelling buds, the native Dogwood by the pond is going to be putting on quite a show  in April

The Hellebores, a little behind schedule, are putting on their best show to date.

Some of the Hydrangeas have already broken out of their long winter's sleep.

Even the ground covering Vinca has started to flower

The Silver Maples have been blooming for several days now.

Back at the house, new growth on the Clematis promises a flush of color in the not too distant future.

So, there you have it - a quick walk around the yard. Hints and signs saying that yes, Spring really is on the way, and Winter will soon be a distant memory.

Of course, there's always one rebel plant in every yard. This Parsley, sitting out, unattended and unprotected all winter long, has laughed at the single digit nighttime temperatures we had, the 10" snowfalls, and what little moisture it absorbed from the few light showers we've had these past few months. It's reward will be to get transplanted to an out of the way location where it can go to seed, giving us even more baby Parsleys, which in turn will become food for the Black Swallowtail caterpillars.
Happy March, Happy Meteorological Spring, or if you listen to the plants, Happy Successful Quest.