The blossoms of trilliums are popping up in the woods. They can be found along the edges of tall evergreens, beside trails, poking out alongside rotting habitat logs and sometimes right in the middle of well-trod animal paths.
The trillium comes from a bulb and will regrow in the same vicinity each year because the bulbs do not tend to travel. They are not tough like a daffodil, disturbing the bulbs on a site more likely than not will result in killing the tender plant and bulb, transplanting is usually not recommended because of this. Continue reading
Unpruned pear tree
Pruned apple tree
Now that the project of planting seedlings in the woods has been completed, the garden spring pruning is number one on the list.
We were very fortunate to move to a farm 40 some years ago with a well-established orchard of a wide variety of plums/prunes, apples, pears, cherries and nuts. Most of the old trees have survived but some have gone by the wayside.
The trouble is the size of the trees, they are massive and most of them were grafted over60 years ago. Grafts tend not to be as strong as the ancient trees and huge limbs have broken out over the years where the grafts were started. Over the years we have purchased and planted several more varieties of trees and the new trees are dwarf or semi-dwarf strains (much easier to prune). But the old trees are so delicious that we will not take any out unless they break down completely.
We still have two more trees to finish before we are finally done with this task and then I may have to start singing again…
We are finally experiencing weather that feels like spring since the cold grip of winter is loosening a bit.
A day full of dark ominous clouds creating bursts of rain with hail switching to brilliant sunlight moments later gave beautiful rainbows between the two on and off throughout the day.
It is a nice break from the below average temperatures of February and first half of March. Which reminds me, it is time to get back to all the spring obligations now that the weather is cooperating.
Robin eggs have been spotted, another sign that spring is really here.
This one happened to be right in the middle of the dirt road on the way to do the morning chores.
This could not have been laid in a nest for it was quite a distance from any structures or grassy areas where it could be hidden safely. It had not been dropped from a distance because there were no cracks in the thin shell. I can only assume some unsuspecting-expecting robin happened to be walking, along minding her own business, when she plopped out an egg and left it knowing that she had no protection to brood her possible offspring. It must have come as quite a surprise.
It is now official, for me at least, now that the first trillium has been spotted. I declare that it is now spring on the farm.
I had been down hill earlier in the day to visit a friend who lives about 500 feet above sea level, and saw a bright, white trillium blooming at the edge of their flower bed. As soon as I got home, I headed out to see if we had any blooming.
According to Wikipedia,
Picking parts off a trillium plant can kill it even if the rhizome is left undisturbed. Some species of trillium are listed as threatened or endangered and collecting these species may be illegal. Laws in some jurisdictions may restrict the commercial exploitation of trilliums and prohibit collection without the landowner’s permission. In the US states of Michigan and Minnesota it is illegal to pick trilliums. In New York it is illegal to pick the red trillium.
In 2009, a Private Members Bill was proposed in the Ontario legislature that would have made it illegal to in any way injure the common Trillium grandiflorum (white trillium) in the province (with some exceptions), however the bill was never passed.
Here at the farm it is the white trillium that is native and grows in the woods during the spring although they don’t grow as big as the ones down in the valley. The white blossoms turn pink as they age while the green leaves can continue to get larger after the blossoms have fallen off. Leaves tinged with a red hue can be spotted well into the heat of the summer if they have some tall trees around to keep them from the brutal sun.
A little more than a skiff of snow blanketed the limbs on the freshly trimmed fruit trees, the garden, pastures and roads around the farm early Monday morning. The snow looked pretty on the pink blossoms of the flowering cherry.
It was a bit of a surprise since we had gone to bed with clear skies and stars twinkling. Just a few clouds near sunrise brought enough moisture in for this touch of winter. From before 5 a.m. until about 7, the showers came through and coated everything. Most of the snow was melted by noon and once again we noticed a hummingbird or two snooping around for flower to visit.
While feeding the herd across the river, I noticed the alder trees by the river getting their familiar red spring tinge.
The trees had been dull and lifeless all winter long since they lost their leaves in the fall.
It seems like a long time coming but the alders turning hue is a very good indicator that the trees are coming out of winter dormancy.
The color doesn’t come from new leaves emerging, that comes a little later in the season. The red comes from the catkins that will soon be the pollen delivery system for the area.
The picture also shows a couple of under-developed cones still on the tree from last year, hanging on until they rot away.