A cold beginning to spring

We’re heading off for traveling on April 1, and hoping for a few more signs of spring before we leave. All of the Asian imports have been evident as have the Mediterranean ones.

Daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, forsythia, and quince are all in flower, as have been Asian magnolias, cherries, etc. Saucer magnolias have had an excellent run — they’ve managed to survive the March snowstorms, etc., unlike the star magnolias.

The male cardinals are calling, marking their territories. A Carolina wren is investigating our porch (probably as a nesting site). They’re vocalizing, too. And the red-shouldered hawks are evident as well.

I’m also hearing chickadees, not surprising as they’re year-round residents here, but also white-crowned sparrows, which I think are just summer residents, or maybe they’re just passing through.

It’ll be odd to be gone in April, as that’s when our native hardwoods leaf out, and the understory trees, like dogwoods and halesias flower. The redbuds are just starting and the Amelanchier buds are expanding, and the Sassafras buds hopefully will pop before we leave.

When we return, the forest trees in the back woodland will be leafed out and the pocket meadow will be even further along.
Oconee Bells
Here’s an image of an early spring native wildflower, Oconee Bells (Shortia galacifolia) from last week’s garden club field excursion. It was transplanted (via rescue, probably, as its native range is limited) here to a wonderful protected rich cove forest, full of wonderful natives: at Pearson’s Falls, NC, managed by the Tryon Garden Club for over 90 years!


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