Monday, April 27, 2009

It was a soggy weekend here but the rain was much needed. None of my garden chores got done but I did have a wonderful time watching the birds. I saw some new ones and identified some migrants passing through on their way to Canada. More about them in a future post.

I snapped a few photos Friday evening before the rain began. I'm so pleased a few things are finally blooming here, it was a very long winter.



A drift of false rue anemones blooming at the feet of a lilac hedge.




Lovely Virginia Bluebells just opening.


Trillium showing off their pretty dappled foliage.



I was happy to see this feathered visitor. The Brown Thrasher is really more cinnamon than brown. This large, handsome bird spent the day moving leaf mulch looking for snails and insects. A welcome friend in anyones garden. ( Sorry for the poor quality photo. It was a really bad angle through a barn window, that's why it's so hazy. )




Some interesting facts. These birds are very shy but can sometimes be seen on farms and in hedgerows. They are excellent parents and defend their nests bravely. Thrashers are related to the Mocking Bird and mimic the songs of other birds repeating each note twice. In this area Brown Thrashers are summer visitors arriving just as the insects begin moving about in the spring.



NOTE: The first photo is of False Rue Anemone and not Wood Anemone as stated. False Rue Anemone Enemion biternatum is being over run with garlic mustard in most of it's natural habitats. Thank you Trout Birder for pointing that out on your site.

44 comments:

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Hi Marnie, it looks like Virginina bluebells and trillium (mine has a bud about to open any second now) bloom here at the same time as you, but my wood anemones are a bit behind. I love them, though; they're so friendly!

RainGardener said...

I have got to find some Virginia Bluebells. I keep seeing them and they look beautiful. Think I'll look up in the woods for some Trillium. I know we had them before we had to cut down our trees - we needed some light and they were falling on our roof 2 at a time during a storm.

Bethanie said...

I love blue bells.

Bethanie said...

I love blue bells.

Phillip said...

I'm not familiar with that bird but if he likes farms and hedgerows, that is probably the reason. Great shots!

Rose said...

It's good to see the signs of spring in your garden, Marnie. I love those delicate bluebells. Interesting that you had rain all weekend--we had sunny skies, and it was hot! The forecast has been for rain from yesterday through the weekend, but I haven't seen a drop yet. I wouldn't mind a little bit, but I'd love to get some more garden work done.

Thanks for identifying another bird for me--I'll be on the lookout for these thrashers this summer. I saw my first goldfinch this weekend, but then learned they were here all winter but were wearing their olive drabs:)

Darla said...

So glad your winter is coming to a close...can't wait to see more of your flowers.

tina said...

It's so beautiful! I am glad winter is at an end for you. That brown thrasher is great shot! Nice looking bird too. I could use a few to eat the snails and slugs here.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Monica, I love the delicate blue bells and wood anemone too but they don't have much presence in a garden. You almost have to crawl around to see their tiny flowers. A big patch of wood anemone does stand out.

Raingardener, lots of nurseries have them for sale. Plant swaps are a great place to find them.

Hi Bethanie, they are lovely.

Hi Phillip, I doubt if you'll see these shy birds in subdivisions.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Rose, some goldfinches go farther south in the winter but many stay up here. It is hard to believe those beautiful golden birds turn such a drab winter color.

Hey Darla, thanks, it seemed like winter would never end.

Hi Tina, I know. Wish they came in flocks and ate these slugs. We should raise chickens or ducks if they didn't make such a mess tearing up the mulch and half the plants.

Sherri said...

Marnie, the picture you took of the Virginia Bluebells look absolutely stunning! They are glowing! I love them. We used to have Brown Thrashers on our farm in NJ and I loved to watch them! Thanks for sharing!

Kathleen said...

I'd love to see a brown thrasher in my yard Marnie. What a great sighting. I've noticed as I am more and more interested in the garden, my interest in birds, butterflies etc., has also expanded. Maybe he's been here and I just haven't paid attention? I'll keep my eyes peeled. As far as welcome blooms ~ I hear you. We woke up to snow again this AM. The bluebells are beauties. I'm glad you have some blooms finally ~ you've waited a long time.

The Birdlady said...

My service berry just finished blooming - I'm anxious for it to grow too tall for the deer to reach -they love it! Lovely flowers and thrasher.

BeadedTail said...

Lovely garden photos and that bird is very pretty! I've never seen one like that before but its color is so unique. Thanks for sharing!

perennialgardener said...

I love the variegated foliage of your trilliums Marnie. I just planted a trillium this spring. Can't wait to see it naturalize the shady nook. The Rue Anemone is a beautiful sea of white blossoms.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Great photos, my bluebells here in northern Iowa are just starting to open, the ones that didn't get drowned this weekend, almost 5 inches of rain fell here.

The Brown Thrasher has such a beautiful song! Great photos.

Connie said...

Ah, those bluebells are lovely! It is time for me to go down on the mountain side below our house to check for wildflowers.

Susie said...

Marnie I enjoyed looking at these pretty pictures. I love the brown thrasher picture. I don't think it's bad at all. They are such pretty birds.

Dog_geek said...

Nice flowers - I'm glad to see that spring has sprung for you! While it was raining for you, it was blisteringly hot for us - ugh! I guess I'm never happy!

RainbowMom said...

Oh beautiful photos! I haven't seen a bluebell for some long time! When I see them or think of them I think of my Ancestors. Always a pleasure to view your blog. Peace!

Beth said...

I love the Virginia bluebells but always that they were too tender of a perennial for my zone. They apparently do well in Illinois? What's your experience with them Marnie?

Gail said...

Marnie, Impressive stand of trillium!
How lovely to imagine the False Rue Anemone beneath a lilac hedge. They are charming little flowers....I feel fortunate that they like it here, too. gail

sweet bay said...

Beautiful wildflowers!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie,
Lovely shots as always! Flower or fowl, you have a real talent. Those false rue anemone are very pretty ... are they hard to get established and multiply? I need to hunt and see if our small stand of bluebells is up yet ... they weren't as of last week, but so much has popped up in the past few days.

I was starting to wonder about our Trilliums and when I went out before the rain started on Friday, there they were! I hope they brought more friends this year ... we originally planted 3 a while back and last year we had 5, so they are naturalizing gradually. Your stand is very impressive! Make sure to get more shots when they bloom....

troutbirder said...

Several of my favorite bluebell covered floodplains have been converted to cowpastures. I believe the cows like the taste of fresh bluebells. Drats!
Great post Marnie and thanks for the mention.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Sherri, the blue belles are one of the loveliest blooms. That impossible blending of blues and lilacs. But they disappear very quickly.

Kathleen, I know you are right. As we get close to nature in the garden our love of it expands.

Birdlady, my Service Berry just began blooming. Our local deer have some sort of truce with Aggie. They don't eat anything in the yard and she doesn't venture into the elder thickets after them.

Hi Beadedtail, it is a nice cinnamon red isn't it.

PerennialGardener, all these plants are so welcome early in the spring. They quickly fade into the background or disappear in late spring.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Iowa Gardening Woman, we got rain here too but not that much. It is finally clearing off today and the sun is shining for the first time since last Friday.

Hi Connie, I've been walking and looking at local wildflowers. The ticks are out already. Ick!

Hi Susie, you are kind to say that. I couldn't resist putting the photo into the blog because I will never again get that close to a brown thrasher.

Hi DogGeek, the heat is something I cannot tolerate well. I don't blame you. It just saps your energy and your will to do anything.

Rainbow Mom, they are a wonderful old flower no doubt enjoyed by our ancestors.

Hi Beth, they do well here in zone 4b/5a. Haven't lost any to harsh winters. Since they are dormant in the summer I don't think our droughts affect them much either.

Gail, the drifts of white anemone draw the eye away from the naked lilacs;)

Sweet Bay, thank you.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi IVG, the anemone multiply quickly in loose compost rich soil and do fairly well in sandy loam. If you start some, incorporate a good size area of compost to clay soil.

Hey Troutbirder, isn't it always about the money?

Marnie

Jamie and Randy said...

Fantastic photos Marnie! Jamie will be so jealous of your trilliums. LOL Those Thrashers are all over the back yard right now. They seem to build nests in the neighbors yard in the same area each year.--Randy

Dawn said...

Nice! Interesting bird.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Randy, I hope those thrashers keep the bugs and slugs out of your gardens.

Hi Dawn, thanks.

Marnie

Lisa at Greenbow said...

All of these blooms are so pretty. I love hearing and watching the Thrashers around here. They bring their young to our garden to hunt. A fun time of year with the garden seeming so alive with blooms and feathers.

beckie said...

Marnie, your Thraher is a great picture. What fun to see one. Your anemones are beautiful which ever they are. :) Hope you are not drowning up there-I see you got a lot more rain. Maybe soon the sun will come out and dry up all the wet.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi again Marnie,
Thanks for the tips about the anemones. Most of our gardens are pretty much classic Iowa sandy loam and we always have plenty of new compost to work in. Fortunately the clay on our property is mostly in the parking.

People always ask us why our Bleeding Hearts get about 4 ft tall every year and very bushy... lol, we just planted them in good composty soil!

Naturegirl said...

Isn't it wonderful to see the garden in transition and to see the amazing feathered friends return..there is much activity in your Spring garden!
Enjoy!

flowergardengirl said...

I love the call of the Bob White and the Whip-Poor-Whill. It always brings warm and precious thoughts my way. So I can understand your love of the Spring arriving thrasher.

I know all your critters are happy to share in celebration of the good weather. Those Virginia Bluebells are very blue.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Lisa, I hope my Thrashers will bring their family to my garden to search out slugs;)

Hi Beckie, I wish I could schedule the rains for overnight only but I'll take the needed water whenever it comes.

IVG, I'll bet anemones would do very well in your garden.

Nature Girl, I do look forward to the return of many of my favorite birds. I keep a notebook of the dates they come and go.

Hi Flowergardengirl, the buds are very blue before they open but the blue fades quickly.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi Marnie, I love your trillium and Virginia Bluebells...I so want some trillium to grow here. I think I need to order the whole plant and not just put in the rhizomes, like I did. Nothing sprouted from them. But I just bought 4 new VA bluebells and they haven't put out any flowers yet, but the plants look healthy so they should be blooming quite soon. I had 2 others pop up that have been in the garden for a couple of years now...but they aren't flowering yet, either! Funny that yours are in IL and mine aren't in VA:-/ Our weather has been unbearable hot 95+...but the humidity was the worst part of it. Now, it is raining here, too, and it is wonderful!!! I am intrigued by your thrasher photo and info. Would love to see one!! Have a great day, Marnie!!! Jan

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Jan, odd about your bluebells not flowering. I know they don't like heat. For years we had a little greenhouse nearby that specialized in wild flowers. It was ideal because you could buy potted up and growing plants and see for yourself if they were healthy.
Marnie

Nan and =^..^= said...

Hi Marnie,
So glad you had time over the weekend for some birdwatching! I loved seeing and learning about the brown thrasher that you photographed. I too am so excited to have spring flowers blooming, every day there seems to be something new. It's especially meaningful and appreciated after such a long winter of shades of white!

joey said...

Lot of good stuff blooming, Marnie. Wasn't it a crazy weather weekend! (Anxious to see your blooming trillium.)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

That's a great stand of Anemonella/Rue Anemone you've got there. I just love them. But what I really makes me envious is your healthy stand of Trilliums. I killed T. sessile (?) somehow. Those have great foliage.

gourdshine said...

love the bluebell photo.. just fabulous!

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