Earth Day dawned bitter cold, with below-freezing temperatures, in my corner of the Pocono Mountains. I braved the cold to take a few photographs for a special event sponsored by the Eastern Pennsylvania Phenology Project. I posted about this citizen science project here, and the group has just launched a website with more information. They are promoting a special "blitz" on phenology during the week of Earth Day, with the goal of getting people from lots of groups to send in information about what they see in their backyards this week. This is the first of what they hope will be an annual event. They have already noted significant differences between the arrival times of spring from south to north, differences that are really dramatic. In Bethlehem, PA, some 25 miles south of here, for over a week the cherry blossoms have been out, the magnolias burst open last weekend, the forsythias are past peak, and azaleas are in bloom. None of this is happening here.
Here are some observations in my garden, as my contribution to the Earth Day Week phenology event:
H.H. has now completed cleaning-out all his bird houses. The collage at the head of this post shows some of them. Incidentally, this is my very first collage. If I had the time, I would make some changes, but all-in-all I am quite proud of it. I thank Diana of Elephant's Eye for encouraging me to try this. Diana produces wonderful collages displaying the blooms in her beautiful garden in South Africa.
The Carolina wrens are nesting. I first saw them collecting building materials for their nest on April 7, and subsequently, was able to take some pictures from the garden-room window. I am sorry the quality is rather poor from such a large distance using my little point-and-shoot camera in low light.
|Carolina Wren Thryothorus ludovicianus|
There are no signs of swallows or humming birds. H.H. readied the purple martin house, but I know it is early for them as last year they built their nest in May.
|Purple Martin Progne subis (May, 2010)|
|Can you see the wooden ledge over the tractor shed window?|
|Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura|
|I think this is the female because she lacks the iridescent neck feathers.|
|Amerian Goldfinch Carduelis tristis|
|Male Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus|
While there are no leaves on the maple trees, the forsythia bloomed yesterday. Hurray! And below are some other new spring blooms in my garden today:
|Forsythia (viewed from Bluebell Creek)|
|Brunnera Macrophylia 'Jack Frost'|
|I love the leaves of Brunnera. This plant will grow very large during the summer.|
|Japanese Spurge Pachysandra|
|Barren strawberry Waldsteinia fragariodes|
|Daffodil Narcissus spp.|
|Daffodil Narcissus spp.|
|Primula Hybrid Primrose|
|Volunteer bluebell of unknown species.|
|Lilac Syringa vulgaris|
The farmer who takes care of our fields planted corn this week. All the farmers in northeast PA are very distressed by the extremely wet weather we have been experiencing this spring. I do hope his corn seeds survive!
This week I pruned the roses, first removing the mulch that protected them through the winter. Under the mulch, I found a very sleepy frog. I don't think he had emerged from his winter sleep, yet. There is a very LOUD one, however, singing in the pond every night. No pictures as yet.
I spotted a dragonfly skimming across the fishpond this week -- he would not stop and pose for a photograph -- but I have not seen any bees or butterflies. My camera is ready for when they appear!
I am really enjoying contributing to the Eastern Pennsylvania Phenology Project! Don't forget to check out their blog here. What did you spot in your garden this Earth Day Week?
Wishing you a very Happy Easter, dear gardening friends.
|One of the many bluebird houses at our farm.|
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