The Cherry Blossoms are starting to open. The first few buds opened on the 25th. And today the temperature rose to over 60ºF, the first time since October 20. So many more blossoms opened today.
The tree is about 20% in bloom. Another week or so and the Cherry Blossoms should be in full bloom.
The Bleeding Hearts have yet to bloom. Usually their delicate pink flowers sway in the breeze by now. But this cool spring, just their delicate leaves grace the forest floor. So why do they have such delicate, beautiful leaves? What advantage do their frilly leaves give them?
But the Daffodils are finally in full bloom. Is there a flower that sings spring like Daffodils?
Just three days ago, Friday the 17th, frost decorated the flowers in the morning. Was it our last frost? Will there be no more frosts? The forecast is for it to be below freezing Monday morning. I hope not.
The thing about the last frost, you never know when you see a frosty morning if it is the last frost of the season. Not until things have warmed up so much that there is no chance of it freezing again until fall can you look back and say with certainty, that was the last frost of the season.
Two days before the spring equinox, the daffodils started to open. They are very late this year. And two days ago I heard bumblebees while planting potatoes. This year, the bees should be out when the fruit trees bloom. Last year, late, cool weather kept the bees snuggled in their burrows while the fruit trees bloomed. I had to hand pollinate a number of fruit trees.
You can see the blur of the bumblebee’s wings as it gets nectar and gathers pollen from one of the cherry trees. This is the oddest of cherry trees. It blooms year round. At times there are just a handful of flowers on it, but through the cold of winter, it always has a few blossoms.
This morning when I drove the car into town to have a dent fixed, I noticed two bald eagles hanging out nearby. They were still around when I came back several hours later. One even perched in a tree close to the house, and Ena watched it fly away when I tried to take a picture of it.
So are the eagles seeing our chickens and noticing the many ducks on the pond and thinking, “If we could do something about those dogs and people, this would make a great place to raise a family.”?
I did have a good laugh driving home in the rental car I have while they fix the dent in our car. I noticed this button and wondered what it did. It looked like a person sitting down with waves of heat at their rear end. “Ah ha! A seat warmer,” I thought. Either that or it is a special function to deodorize farts so when you sense you are about to let one rip, you press it.
But when I pressed it, no seat warming happened. No pine scent filled the air. Instead the car asked me out loud what command I wanted to give it. So it’s supposed to be a person’s face with the person talking. Not a person’s butt getting warmed or deodorized.
So it goes.
Today is the spring equinox. It happened at 2:24 pm Pacific Time. In Iran, the spring equinox is the first day of the year. I like their calendar. The first six months, the months of spring and summer, all have 31 days. The next 5 months all have 30 days. And the last month of the year has 29 days and 30 days in a leap year. It’s very easy to remember.
The cherry blossom buds are still wrapped up tight. You can feel them shivering, waiting for the warmth of spring to arrive. They are late this year. But how late? And when will they bloom? I’m guessing it will be the end of March or the beginning of April.
I went back through my photos of the cherry blossoms of this very tree. The earliest they bloomed was on March 4. The latest, on April 10. Around March 21~27 seems to be the most reliable time they bloom.
I couldn’t find photos for every year, but this one stood out from April 20, 2008.
Heavy snow blankets the cherry blossoms on April 20! That year was a very snowy year. Our well froze. We melted snow for two weeks on the wood stove. It snowed every day from the end of December until March or so. We were snowbound for over a week.
The crocus are very late this year. The first flower buds are just started to poke out. The narcissus have not bloomed yet either, and usually by this time they are in full bloom. Proof it’s been a cool start to spring.
Rhubarb shoots are proof enough for me that spring has sprung. I’ve been planting onion and leek shoots the last few days and discovered that the rhubarb has awaken and is sending up its colorful shoots. Rhubarb red, rhubarb green, spring’s vibrants colors.
What do the swans think of the warming days? Are their minds already planning their trips north? Are they discussing where to go? We did the Kenai Peninsula last summer. Let’s do the Copper River Delta this summer? Is that what they are thinking?
I stopped today on my way to the Post Office to watch the flocks on the pasture. Soon, one day I will go looking for them and they will be gone, flying north on their way to their summer homes.
They were nearly hunted to extinction. By 1932 scientists knew of only 69 trumpeter swans left in the wild. Fortunately, they were protected and now there are tens of thousands. It’s hard to imagine the Skagit Valley in winter without the swans. And we almost lost them.
Each day there is more color brightening the day, and buds swelling, getting read to unfurl their new leaves.
The chickens dig scratching through the buttercup I pull out of the garden. They find numerous bugs and earthworms to devour. I’d let them in the garden but they’d dig up everything up. They’ll have plenty of buttercup and other goodies to scratch through while I prepare the garden over the next few months.
On my way into town today I encountered a flock of snow geese along Chuckanut Drive. Snow geese flocks cover pastures in such numbers that they look like patches of snow on the ground.
Didn’t I say just yesterday that every day is unique? Seeing thousands of snow geese feeding just in front of you is the very definition of unique. How often do you go make an errand and have to stop to take in all the snow geese swarming on pasture?
And when they take flight, snow geese look like clouds. Do birds who live in such huge flocks have any concept of loneliness? For their whole lives they are never more than a wingtip away from other snow geese. If a snow goose goes to see a therapist what do they talk about?
If you have a chance to watch snow geese, it is the constant chatter that stands out. They are forever talking, all at once. What are they saying? When they are here are they talking about their summer homes in the arctic? And when they are in the arctic are they talking about their time south?
I suppose that some day we will be able to point our phones at the snow geese and have all their chatter translated and marvel at what they are talking about.
Every day is as different as every cloud. I had to stop on the way home from running errands. The clouds today were too special to drive by. Each time I see such beautiful, wondrous clouds, I enjoy them because I’ll never see a cloud just like these again.
Clouds are like snowflakes. Each one is unique, and each one changes by the second. Every moment you gaze at a cloud it changes, shifts, moves, and drifts away.
Today’s clouds were particularly unique and wonderful. Good bye, clouds. I’ll never see you again. But thanks for drifting by and making today so special.