Thursday, February 25, 2010

Blooming Friday ~ Prunus mume and Winter Honeysuckle

I took these pictures on Tuesday, when the weather was beautiful and before the latest snowfall.

The Prunus mume in the big perennial bed

with its very cup-shaped blooms.

The Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) is in full bloom. As much as I would love to have a Daphne, I am happy to have this plant. It's huge but it's ironclad, ridiculously easy to propagate, and the flowers are very sweet and lemony.

Winter honeysuckle isn't known for its beauty, but in late winter its pink and spring green buds and waxy white flowers are beautiful beyond compare. Even in summer it's a handsome shrub with dark green foliage. Eventually it gets too big and gangly, but it can take being whacked back.

If the air is warm enough, these fragrant flowers always draw the honeybees.

Thank you to Katarina at roses and stuff for hosting Blooming Friday.

The World in Black and White

We're experiencing our third snowfall of the winter today, reducing the world to monochrome. Each snow event has been of lessening intensity. An hour after these pictures were taken the snow was already gone.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More Adorableness

Possibly the cutest bird In The World. (Is anyone else having a flashback to a certain commercial?)

Crest raised.

I will admit it. This bird is so adorable that he can prompt anyone to scream "He's so cute!" when he starts his gurgling stutter and performs amazing acrobatics.

A newly hatched kinglet is about the size of a bumblebee.

The blue in the background is our truck and the swirl is the tire well.

As the days get longer he will start singing more in earnest, rather than just short snatches here and there. Kinglets often linger until May before leaving for their breeding grounds in the northernmost US and Canada.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Birds and Sunshine

We had some absolutely beautiful weather this weekend. I rode both of the horses for the first time in about 6 weeks, and we have been undertaking some farm repairs. There was also time to get the camera out and take some pictures of all of the bird life in and around the garden.

This yellow-rumped warbler looks to be enjoying the sunshine.

A secretive dark-eyed junco, who was hiding in the brush beside the driveway until I passed by.

A male bluebird in one of the pines at the back of the big perennial bed.

Such a beautiful shade of blue.

There are lots of robins feeding in the pastures, but so far they haven't made eaten the rose hips or the holly berries. At some point they and the cedar waxwings will strip the berries; I think they always do. I haven't heard the waxwings lately. I know they're around, having heard them in December and November, but they're not in the immediate vicinity.

I walked down to the slough to try to get a glimpse of the wood ducks. I flushed the same pair three times and didn't even get close to getting a shot. Ah well, it's difficult to be stealthy when clomping around in rubber boats.

On the way back to the house, I saw a flock of bluebirds at the edge of one of the pastures. They hang out here a lot, not only for food, but because they sleep and take shelter in the nestboxes and purple martin house.

They were hawking from the neighbor's fence

and from the nearby trees,

waiting to swoop down on an insect on the ground.

Next, imo the cutest bird in NA, the ruby-crowned kinglet.

They seem to be quite fearless. In the garden it's not unusual to find one foraging practically underfoot.

A bit of the red crown is apparent in this picture. The fuzziness around the edges is
out-of-focus foliage in the foreground, although he was literally glowing with cuteness.

They love Buddleias. I don't know if they're eating seeds or tiny insects or both.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...