Friday, April 9, 2010

What's Going On In My Yard?

I read that rain is coming this weekend, so I took the lawnmower out for the first time and cut a little bit of grass. Then I walked around the yard with my camera, looking for buds, weeds, wildflowers, and things that need to be done around the place.
This tree has some strong and healthy-looking buds.
My baby cottonwood is growing, but I didn't see any large buds. This seems to happen every year. I'll wonder if it's still alive, then before I know it, both cottonwoods are full of green leaves. So I won't worry this year, just wait for it to take its time.
I see the beginning of flowers inside the buds on my lilac bush. Unfortunately, it has never bloomed since the first year we lived here. I don't know if it's the late frost we always seem to get or if there is another reason. Our town is famous for its lilacs, so at least I get to see and smell them there.
These are my daffodils that may go the way of the lilacs. But they look really healthy, so I hope there will be some flowers. I count both lilacs and daffodils among my most favorite flowers, so I would be thrilled if some appeared this spring.  Then I wonder if there will be a blogger feature soon where you can rotate clockwise to avoid this upside down photo?
My front yard will soon be covered with these pretty lavender flowers.
This is wild fire country and a dead branch on the ground, close to the house is not a good idea. And this reminds me that I started to trim this juniper tree a while ago and maybe it's time to finish the job.

When I first moved here, I got two wonderful books from friends, Weeds of the West and National Audubon Society Field Guide to California. I use them a lot in the spring because I really, really want to know what all these wildflowers are called. I'm not always successful in finding the weeds/wildflowers in these books and it seems to me that you need to know the name first. Or you flip through a lot of pages and sometimes you're lucky, other times not. The same goes for least as far as I know. If you don't have a name, you can't look it up or easily find it. Any suggestions will be much appreciated by me.                             
Maybe I have a secret dream to be like Edith Holden, the Edwardian lady, who wrote such a wonderful diary of her observations of plant and wildlife. Edith painted all the flowers and animals she encountered on her walks around the English countryside and wrote about them in her diary. She knew the name of every single flower, of course. Love this book!
As far as wildlife goes, the ground squirrels are busy; I've seen a few rabbits, but not much else. Today, I saw two small coveys of quail again – I haven't seen them for a while. I'm waiting for my favorite bird to come back, the Road Runner. I just love to watch them run around the yard, catching insects and snakes. Today I also saw the first white butterfly – there are so many of them here in the summer and they appear to be following us when I walk the dogs. Of course, that couldn't be true, but they fly next to us as we walk down the road in the summer.


  1. Here's hoping that your lilacs and daffys flower this year. Nearby Rochester is known for its lilacs, also. Highland Park has over 500 varieties, and holds a huge Lilac Festival every year. This year, because of the warm weather we had, everything is ahead of schedule.

  2. I Love! lilacs. I have found white butterflies to be playful - and territorial. I guess there is a basic reason they act as they do; I just don't know what it is. I like those little flowers growing close on the ground. Enjoyed this post very much.

  3. Louise: It must be gorgeous in a town with 500 varieties! I don't remember any lilacs in Princeton when I lived there. The dogwoods stand out in my mind when I think back on spring in NJ.

    Barbee: Do you think they are the same white butterflies where you are? I need to find out more about them but the way you describe them make them sound just like mine.

    Thanks both of you for your nice comments, I appreciate them so much.

  4. I don't know. The ones here are the cabbage butterflies. The babies are little green (I think.) worms that eat anything in the cabbage or mustard family. They are a pest if one is trying to grow a kitchen garden with food plants in those categories.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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