|The Woodland Walk at Astolat Farm|
As I stroll through our Woodland Walk this morning, I am reminded of the Mother Goose nursery rhyme:
One misty, moisty morning when cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man clothed all in leather.
He began to compliment, and I began to grin,
How do you do, and how do you do?
And how do you do again?
I always loved this rhyme as a child and today it reminds me of England. While it is cloudy and damp here, this milder weather is more to my taste than the bitter cold of last month, and even of last fortnight when I was counting birds. If you compare this posting with January's view HERE you will see what I mean. The Great Backyard Bird Count ended with a resounding success as a pileated woodpecker made an appearance. Frequently, I hear this large bird tapping away at a tree, but usually he's not in view. He was in one of the ash trees searching for the grubs of the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that has decimated our ash trees. In the picture at the top of this posting, it is the tree with the bark peeled off. We may have to remove it before it falls on the bridge.
|Top picture, strips of bark fall to the base of the ash tree as, bottom left, a pileated woodpecker taps for grubs.|
Although the count is over, I continue to enjoy the birds:
|Top: Black-capped chickadee. Bottom: Tufted titmouse|
With the milder weather Duane, Jonathan, and I made a small start on the winter garden cleanup. Grandson Jon picked up branches and twigs that covered the lawns, Duane helped me cut down some unruly grasses, and I tidied the rain garden to reveal water iris shoots.
|I tidied the rain garden -- to the right of the kitchen garden fence.|
|Iris shoots in the rain garden.|
There are daffodils pushing up all over the garden. I am so glad to see them in the daffodil walk that lines the path to our front door.
|Daffodil shoots in the Abundance Garden|
|The Daffodil Walk at the front of the house|
|I still see clumps of snowdrops in the Serenity Garden|
|The hellebore buds are getting fatter|
Now that we removed the tall grass next to the pond, we can see the weeping spruce again. It has lots of new growth. Of course, we barely started the cleanup; it's early days yet.
We removed messy Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus' as the wind broke pieces off and sent them into the pond.
|The weeping spruce has lots of new growth and looks rather scruffy, but I love this miniature tree and don't plan to prune much off.|
I usually prune shrubs and trees in March while they are still dormant. I plan to begin that task next week. Duane has been busy with his personal project: He commissioned his brother-in-law to build an extra shelter for the animals in the big paddock. The miniature horse, Charm, and the goats, Doodles and Billy, really like it, spending a lot of time in the unfinished structure.
|The new animal shelter is nearly finished; it just needs some trim on the front|
Sadly, early February saw the passing of three friends. One of them, George, built the replica outhouse that Duane gifted me two years ago. I love that outhouse. George will not be forgotten.
I'm linking with Sarah's Through the Garden Gate in Dorset, England. She inspires me to get outside with the camera each month even in inclement weather. February is ending with rain, possibly turning to snow. I hope it isn't going to be bad for traveling as I am preparing for our annual trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show -- thus this post is a few days early. The theme of the show this year is a Mediterranean one; I can't wait to smell the lavender. I'll have much to tell you in my next posting.
I adore flower show season; a true harbinger of spring. Are you going to any shows this year?
|Lichen on the redbud tree branches|
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