Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Back Yard Happenings

Spring has been really slow arriving in our area this year. In looking back at some older photos, I find images of our yard with the trees and shrubs in full bloom in mid-April. Here we are, two to three weeks later this year, and the buds are just making an appearance. Our neighbor's magnolia tree finally blossomed about a week ago. The redbud are just hitting their stride here.

So I can't share any glorious photos of flowering trees and shrubs yet, but here are a few recent images from our yard.

This gray squirrel is enjoying some pistachios that had been in our cupboard too long. (That's a pistachio shell under his tail, just in case you were wondering.)

Our Pussy Willow tree has gotten so tall that it's hard to get a shot of its furry "blossoms." It's an early bloomer, so this picture looks skimpier than it would have a few weeks ago. But the weather's been so nasty that I couldn't have gotten a decent photo at all a few weeks ago.

This is a cluster of buds on our crab apple tree. In a normal year, this tree would have blossomed in all its glory and be dropping its blooms by now. But at least it shows promise of blooming one day soon.

I suspect that everyone recognizes the hardy and cheerful little dandelion. This pesky flower doesn't really seem to be impeded by weather or even by the lawn treatment we paid good money for.

This is a lingering bloom on a forsythia bush.

About six weeks ago, our young neighbor approached us and asked if he could prune and spray our apple tree, which we have neglected for years, in return for letting him have the apples. (He did promise us some homemade applesauce, though.) We gave him free rein with the tree, and he pruned it to beat the band. We weren't sure at first whether it would even survive. But leaves eventually popped out. And, just today, I found these buds on it. Bring on the applesauce!

Update: Doug says I got it wrong. He says the neighbor was planning to make apple CIDER, not appleSAUCE.


  1. THose buds look great and full of promise.I sure hope you get lots of applesauce.

  2. Your dandelion's twin brother has been hanging out in my yard already...and he made it to my blog, too! My husband is totally positive they lawn service plants them.

    Our apple tree was trimmed back to cut down last year, and we never got that far. It's full of leaves but just a few blossoms. It has never really produced usable fruit.

    Lovely spring photos!

  3. These are great photos! I love the close up the dandelion and your little gray squirrel. We feed our squirrels peanuts. :) So much beauty and color. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Ruth - We're surely hoping that those buds will fulfill their promise. That homemade applesauce sounds mighty good.

    Deb - I knew I had seen that dandelion twin somewhere, but I couldn't remember where. I hope you don't mind my copying your lovely idea. I think your husband may be right about the lawn service company. :) Shall we send our young neighbor your way to prune and spray your apple tree? :)

    Elizabeth - We were feeding peanuts to the squirrels and birds, too. Then we found that bag of pistachios hiding in the back of the cupboard. The squirrels seem to prefer them to the peanuts. Thanks for your always-kind comments.

  5. What wonderful photos, I just love squirrels, we have 2 in our garden, and the lovely buds on the apple tree! My mum is always telling me to prune hard, it seems so seems miraculous to me when they flourish afterwards :o)

  6. That squirrel is eating well. I like the neigbor taking on your tree, I use the trim for smoking meats, it makes the best flavor for chicken especially.

  7. Deborah - We have lots of squirrels around here, and we enjoy their antics. We had our doubts about the apple tree when we saw how much the neighbor had cut off, but it looks as if he might have known what he was doing.

    Steve - The neighbor who trimmed the tree is quite the outdoorsman, but I don't think even he thought about using the trimmed branches to smoke meat. We'll have to mention it to him. Thanks for the tip.

  8. These pictures are wonderful and you made that squirrel very, very happy!

  9. Thanks so much, BB. We like to keep our squirrels happy. :)

  10. Spring sure has unfurled her beauty at your place. Love you pistachio-eating friend.

  11. Thanks, Hilary. I just put out the last of the pistachios this morning. The squirrels are on their own until winter rolls around again.


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