Tuesday, May 5, 2015


A juvenile bald eagle was scoping our the goldfish or maybe the dogs - not sure. Regardless, it was wonderful she/he stayed around for a while before I let the dogs out. (Who let the dogs out? Me!) I've also seen a fox several times lately, bold fellow. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Hoping this is a fox

Smaller than the Icelandics
Headed for my neighbor's chicken coop.

Juvenile Bald Eagle
Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Last night's moon

Winter Aconite
One of my favorite spring flowers is the happy yellow flowered winter aconite. When I first bought my property in the thumb before I moved up here, I would harvest seeds from my plants in Royal Oak and broadcast them around my north woods which at that time was a virtual jungle, a tangle of grapevines, honeysuckle vines and shrubs, fallen trees, overgrown dogwoods, and viburnums. The seeds must go through a winter before they can sprout. They need freezing weather in order to spur germination. The first spring only the cotyledons, the two 'seed leaves', emerge from the ground. Even though they are very small and are green only for a couple of months before going dormant for almost a full year, they make and store food for the tiny bulb to survive for nine or ten months until the following spring. The second year they produce one small 'rosette' leaf and make food for the next nine or ten months. The third year the rosette is larger. (The leaves above are third year leaves.) By the fourth spring the bulb is large enough and has stored enough food to produce one small finger-nail sized yellow flower. Left alone, that flower will produce more seeds to harvest and broadcast again.

Abeliophyllum distichum

This shrub is sometimes called the white forsythia but it is not related to that spring blooming shrub. Normally it flowers before forsythia and, more importantly, it has a wonderful smell. Although it's a very slow growing plant, the flowers make it a worthwhile addition to the garden. Propagation can happen when a branch is layered (bent over and secured to the ground) but layering takes at least two or three years to produce a 'new' plant. This very small plant was layered at home in R.O. and then brought up here last spring when I moved. I did not expect it to survive let alone flower so I'm delighted.


Lungworts, hence the scientific name, were a staple in my Grandmother Harding's yard back by her current bushes. Modern ones have lots of white on the leaves; I prefer more green and smaller dots frankly. These few plants survived the move and are descended from plants in her yard. The flowers open blue and gradually change to pink (or is the other way around?).



My dogs love to eat the leaves. I discourage that because they are rather slow growing and need their leaves to make enough food to survive the winter. Maybe eating them speaks to some kind of medicinal properties. Perhaps something to do with lungs. lung health, etc.? They also often regurgitate them later - another reason to discourage them. I have my 'special' way of doing that.

Tulipa spp

I prefer the species (wild) tulips because they naturalize and increase in size. It also seems to me that squirrels don't bother them. (Most modern tulips are attractive to squirrels which dig the bulbs up and replant them in other spots in your yard - - or your neighbors' yards.)

Phlox subulata

I love, love, love going down the dirt roads in the country. Occasionally I spot an almost forgotten cemetery which sometimes has old treasures. Reading the tombstones is interesting; some of the tombstones are broken and hard to read. This old fashioned spring blooming phlox had spread throughout almost the entire cemetery.

 Most of my plants brought from Royal Oak were very small divisions from mother plants which I sadly left behind. They survived the move and look like they have increased in size. The soil up here is very clayey and hard to work so I though most of the plants wouldn't make it. I was wrong, fortunately. (The family that bought my house adopted two rescue male Labrador retrievers soon after their move. I never want to see 'my' yard again. My dogs avoided the plantings and stayed on the paths. It was just simply easier. I also planned the paths depending on their routes through the yard.)

Colchicum, Sedum

The fall flowering colchicums have increased in size and are spreading. They look like tulips at this time of the year and are making food and storing the energy in their bulbs for a profusion of pink fall flowers sans leaves. The yellow sedum was from a single stem broken off in someone's garden and rescued.

I'm unsure what this shrub is. Maybe a flowering cherry of some sort sheared to produce a bush instead of a small tree? Regardless, it's lovely!

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