Saturday, May 14, 2011

Is it spring yet?

Well, the emergence of the Great Southern Brood of periodic cicadas that I featured in my last post has made headlines here, here, and here.  But there were other things of interest happening outside too.  One of my favorite small trees, the Grancy Greybeard, (aka Fringe Tree, Old Man's Beard, Chionanthus virginicus) was in bloom in my Mother's back yard. 
 When we moved to Minnesota 18 years ago, we brought a seedling with us.  It has survived and even blooms here.  It stays small because it gets severely "pruned" by deer each winter; of course the shorter growing season also comes in to play. 
 Yes, those ~3 foot tall sticks are the Grancy Greybeard.  The photo of the flowers in Georgia was taken 3 weeks ago and the photos above and below of this one in MN were taken just minutes ago!  That is how delayed our spring is relative to that in Georgia - I would guess at least 6 weeks, maybe 8.  You can see the Lily of the Valley leaves around the base of the Grancy Greybeard and also the first new leaves of Christmas fern unfurling.
So far our Grancy Greybeard only has green buds showing with the promise of good things to come.

I have no idea what this plant is.
 It is a vine of some sort that was growing wild at the back of a neighbor's yard.  A very pretty flower, whatever it is.

There were also some weeds/wildflowers (depending on your point of view) in Mother's front lawn. 

 I'm glad I took these shots when I did because the next day they were mowed down.  :-(

This Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius ) was also in the neighbor's yard.  As an invading, non-native species, it is considered a noxious weed.  It was introduced from Europe in the 1800s.  Here in the yard, it behaves itself fairly well and adds some welcomed color in the spring.

Meanwhile back here in MN, there are more signs of spring that lend themselves to another posting.  Here is a taste of things to come ...


Ostrich plume ferns



  1. Spring seems to have rushed in over here all at once.
    A great time of year.

  2. Hi Wilma, and thanks for your comment on my latest return to blogging. The decorating was jolly hard going - I'm twenty years older than when I last decorated (it's funny how easily we forget we're getting older!).
    I do hope to get out more in the coming months and keep the posts going as I much enjoy my time in the blogoshere.
    Best wishes

  3. Ok now, I can tell you that our spring is even farther back than yours, cause we are almost getting the winter back ;-) If the leaves have grown in less than 4 days on trees, not too many flowers are out now, at least non of the wild one and only tulips and crocus so far.... Well kind of strange ;-) The weather has been quite cold for May so far and it is not going to be better according to the forecast for the next week at least ;-) Beautiful flowers shots you got!

  4. Keith - such a relief to have spring under way. It always does does to seem to come all at once. I'll take it however it comes!

    Emma - it is very easy to forget that we are getting older! Let's just hope we are wiser too...

    Chris - I am so sorry spring hasn't really taken hold yet for you. Hold on - it will be there soon.

    thanks to all for visiting.



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