Things have brightened up considerably in the last two weeks. The forsythia have thickened up, and though temperatures are still skidding around like Olympic slalom wipeouts, it doesn’t seem to matter as much. The sun is up and working before I am in the morning, and didn’t set last night till about 8:30. Brightness rules.
The early daffodils finally shook themselves out, and the less-early pink ones have joined them. Once again the flower buds of the grape hyacinths were nearly all nipped off before they could get an inch off the ground. This is apparently a rabbit delicacy. Since it’s only the flower bud, the plants come back every year. Alas, so do the rabbits. Although yesterday morning the neighbor’s outdoor cat, Mac, went sauntering across my backyard with a very young bunny in his mouth. Whenever Mac ventures into Zerlina’s sightlines, she throws a hissy fit. Cats, you know, invented hissy fits. But she was sleeping by the front window this time, so he escaped being chastised for poaching.
Mac mostly sticks to the back yard. Meanwhile in the front yard, the birdbath sits near Zerlina’s window. She and I both like to watch it. Either I have lots of robins that like to bathe, or I have one robin that really, really likes to bathe. Here he is all puffed up from just having hopped out and taken a good shake. The cardinal, the mourning dove, the goldfinches, house finches, and chickadees also drink and bathe, but I’d say there’s a proportion of at least four or five robin-baths to each non-robin bath.
Following the daffodils, the weeping cherry’s blooming now, too. This is the tree with the giant scar down the whole trunk, from a lightning strike before our time here. Every winter it loses another chunk of branch and we think, that’s it; every spring it comes back. It’s a favorite of bees, and the natural pruning process has given it many twisty angles that are popular sites for bird nests.
You can see it again in the tomato photo. The seedlings are doing much better than they did last year, for no reason I can come up with. It’s still going to be two or three weeks before our last frost means they can go outside, so Doug cut some dowels for me and I staked them. They also have a better than average survival rate, so I will be giving some away. Not too many, though. I can never have enough tomatoes.