Monday, May 8, 2017

Loa The Icelandic Sheepdog

Annette and Fred reminded me that their Icelandic Sheepdog Vinlands Loa, daughter of Alaskastaðirs Korpur and Thordunu Kría, turns ten years old today! (Korpur and Kria both recently turned thirteen.) I can hardly believe Loa is ten! Annette is with Loa below. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

I realize that I put my garage-sheltered geraniums outdoors way too soon but I figured that when it got cold, I could cover them and on nicer days they could get hardened up for the real sun of summer instead of soft garage window sun. Perhaps you can tell the bird bath below is frozen! Luckily I covered the geraniums last night and will again tonight.

The hawk below has been feeding on the smaller birds at my bird feeder all winter - circle of life, eh? This bird was momentarily stunned when it flew into my window but soon recovered and flew away.

 Kathy is about a week ahead of me; she tells me when her tree swallows arrive and I know I can expect them here soon. Last week she told me her bluebirds were back. Now mine are too!

The "Forget-Me-Nots" below are descendants from some plants I got from my Grandma Harding. Pleasant childhood reminders. I always take my heirloom plants with me whenever I move.

After I bought my property here, I stopped at Mary's Diner. Next door is a horse chestnut tree from which I gathered a few nuts which I planted on the property. Something (opossum, raccoon, squirrel?) dug them up and ate them all. I went back and gathered a few more which I put in pots back in R.O. where they spent the winter. Two germinated and those two are now growing here. The swelling buds are a clear indication that spring is here - finally.

Uncle Frank loved Pulmonaria  or lungworts so I've always had a few of those in my garden. They are not vigorous growers probably because my dogs always love to eat their furry leaves. However, a few manage to seed themselves so they spread ever so slowly. In the first photo below there are some flashier violets in front of the Pulmonaria.

I'm hoping my Grecian Windflowers here will spread like the ones back in R.O. I planted these last fall in my north forest.

I've always loved violets and their relatives violas and pansies. There are at least four varieties here now. Violets produce two kinds of "flowers"; there are the obvious spring ones; during the summer they produce flowers without petals that remain underground. They produce seeds a-sexually that will be identical to the parent plant when they start to grow in the spring. There is a word for that - not monoecious - oestiginous? it will come to me after I post this! Violets can become a nuisance but oh what a pleasant nuisance. My camera doesn't take good color shots of a few flowers so both of the "blues" look similar - -  but one is very dark purple.

white with a blue throat

pure white from Aretha's home

deep blue-purple

pale sky blue

bleeding heart

Birch catkins are lasting a long time this spring because of the cooler than normal temperatures perhaps. Don't let the flashy forsythia distract you from the more subtle flowers of other spring plants.

Perhaps you can find the house wren that is making its nest in Kathy's present the frog-birdhouse. The mouth of the frog is the nest entrance.

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