Journal for April 6, 2012

It’s really spring now.  We were in Costa Rica for a few weeks (I’ll do some blog posts about that experience as soon as I get the pictures organized).  When we got back, spring had arrived – at the end of March!  While we were gone there were days of weather in the 70s and even 80s, so leaves are coming out on the trees, flowers are blooming, and butterflies are flying. 

Wild Plum in full bloom


Wild Plum blossoms


The first butterflies I saw when we got back were Red Admirals.  They’re extremely common this spring – fluttering along every path and in all the prairies.


An Eastern Comma – always a common butterfly in the early spring


The flowers all seem to be blooming at once.

Rue Anemone


Sand Cress


Prairie Smoke


Pin Cherry


Hoary Puccoon


Bird’s Foot Violet



Wood Anemone


We’ve started working on our spring projects.  The first one is always to clear away the trees that have fallen across the paths.


The second is pulling Garlic Mustard.  This year, for the first time, I’m feeling like I’m making some progress.  I’ve been pulling and spraying it for about 4 years now, and I’m finally seeing fewer first year plants – which hopefully means that I’m not missing too many flowering/seed producing plants.  Hopefully next year will be even better.   This is a second year plant – getting ready to send up a flower stalk.


First year Garlic Mustard seedlings – these are much harder to find and pull.


A much more fun project – clearing a hillside.  This one is on the slope below Sumac Corner Prairie.  The aspens and birches have been girdled, so they’re dying, but underneath is a tangle of Prickly Ash and Honeysuckle shrubs.  I love these exposed rocks, so I thought I would work on clearing around them.


The rocks after some clearing work


We’ve been hearing Wild Turkeys in the mornings, calling in the woods, and seeing them on the driveway in front of the house.  Here’s one male showing off for two not so interested females.