Monday, March 1, 2010

Spring is Comming!

This beautiful Narcissus greeted me home Wednesday afternoon! It's the first bloom of Spring for us and there are several more about to come out.
You can see how the flower buds start in this picture. These are probably my favorite flowers! I love how big the trumpets are. They're bulbs and I've never had to move or mess with them since the day they were planted- very easy to grow.

The amaryllis' are starting to shows leaves again. You can see where the last frost got the tip of one leaf as it first came up! They'll start to grow the stems and bloom in about a month or so. These, too, are bulbs and again I do nothing to them. Ever. Well, I may push some mulch over the tops, but that's it. I don't have the time to mess with and store bulbs anyway!

The rose bushes are even starting to push out new leaves! This is probably due to the temperature reaching the 70's this weekend. They'll get a good trimming in the next weeks. The roses, narcissus and amaryllis are in the same bed.

My orchid that lives in the kitchen is also blooming!! I took this picture on Feb 24, just as it was starting to open. You can see the start of other flowers that will come out in the next few weeks.

This picture was taken four days later. The yellow really comes out after the flower opens. Treated right, the blooms will stay for a whopping four months!

A few weeks ago I took a walk around the yard and noticed some pretty interesting things!

This is a common cooter (yes, that's really what they're called) I found by the road in the front yard. He wasn't very timid at all and let me walk right up on him without tucking his head for cover!

The only draw back to having these little guys in the ponds is what they eat.... fish! While they are mostly vegetarian, they are known to eat a good deal of minnows and other small aquatic animals.

Our century plants have wintered over perfectly! We have these on the corners of our property lines as living markers. Let's just pretend that I've already cleaned up around this little guy.... They've even started throwing off babies! This plant has a total of five so far. They send shoots off through the roots.
Century plants got their name as they are said to only bloom once in 100 years. The mature plant sends up a shoot as tall as power lines with a bouquet of flowers at the very tip top. Once the plant flowers it's purpose is done and the plant dies. This is why it sends out many babies throughout its life. We found this century along the side of the road about a year back. By the way, I'm 5' tall!

This is our largest of six pecan trees we have in the yard. The girth of this thing is amazing! Did you know that, generally speaking, pecan trees produce pecans every other year? Sure they drop a few pecans every fall, but you'll get about five times as much on the good year. The gray stuff encompassing the tree is Spanish Moss. It's an air plant (in the bromilead family) that hangs from the limbs of trees. Since we're surrounded by water and have abundant wind, this stuff is everywhere! It seems to show no real preference to what kind of tree it's in around here- we have it in pecans, dogwoods, pines, oaks and any other tree it happens to blow into... even our fig! You can use this moss for all sorts of things from crafts to bedding. If you do happen to go moss collecting, I'd like to give you a warning first! When pulling it out of the trees, be careful for bats and snakes! If you just pull it off of the ground you should still be careful for those, but mostly you'll want to watch out for red bugs (chiggers)!! You won't really be able to see them, but give it a few minutes and you'll definitely be able to feel them!!

Even more things are beginning to come out now, so stick around for more adventures!

What do you having going on around you?