Friday, May 4, 2012

Finally Spring in the Garden

Today was a perfect May day in the garden.  The air was filled with the spicy aroma of clove currant. Weeding and preparing the onion bed were high on the list of things to do.   At first I thought just one red admiral butterfly was flying past my nose.  Sometimes I feel like they do that on purpose just to get me to chase them with the camera.  I resisted for most of the morning, but by noon when  it became apparent that there were more red admirals flitting around the garden than I have ever seen here before, I decided I wanted that picture!   We have a large patch of stinging nettles over by the compost bin.  It is the favorite host plant  for  this butterfly  to lay her eggs.  Clearly these are not beautiful newly hatched butterflies, but tattered ones that have been through the winter .

The dandelions in the lawn were a big attraction for the orange and black butterflies.  When  I stalked one likely candidate to get my picture, all the butterflies in the area took to wing.  It was amazing to watch them  dance in the air.  Finally one sat still long enough for me to get my picture.  The really exciting part is that a new batch of  beautiful red admirals will be hatching out in the garden later in the summer.  Perhaps I will be able to find caterpillars on the nettles to photograph. I will have to be careful.  Nettles carry a nasty sting.

After working hard planting the onions,  Ed walked over to the memorial bench with the camera.  He took this great picture of the forget me nots.  It really shows that the flowers open pink then change to blue.  They have always been a  special favorite of mine.

This white trillium is beautiful and right at its peak of  blooming perfection.  Later as it ages it will turn pink.  We have tried for years to establish this native wildflower here.  It seems that they need time to make themselves at home.

 The white blossoms of wild strawberries are scattered in many places here. This great looking plant is growing in the path to the bench.  Despite the great number of these plants here we seldom find a red berry.  Turkeys take nearly all of this fruit.  We cage our domestic berries to save some for us.

All along the path prickers are  leafing out and forming buds.  Once these plants leaf out a faint but sweet small travels on the breeze. Tomorrow looks like another beautiful garden day.  The full moon will be at it's largest when it rises over the ridge to the  east above the garden.  Of course clear skies and a full moon sometimes come with frost, but spring is definitely here!.


Going Native said...

Butterflies are hard to photograph. Very rarely can I capture a butterfly. You did a fine job. I put the onions in a few weeks ago here in Michigan. I'm trying companion planting this year, so I sowed some lettuce with the onions.

DeVona said...

Beautiful photos and very informative, as always! Your info about the red admiral butterflies may answer a question we had yesterday.... As we were sitting on our porch dozens of dark butterflies winged their way past us like a butterfly parade. Dan joked there were so many, they must be circling the house and tried to follow their path with little success. We have LOTS of stinging nettles over by the creek near the toothwart. Maybe I will find some eggs on them!