Things are moving quickly: Spring is galloping along. The mountains are no longer pristine white but streaked with rock.Summer skies are so different from winter ones.
I posted this next picture in the previous entry. Signs of spring are not obvious much yet,…until you look closely.
Sometimes we wonder if we are going to get green leaves before June. This year, they are a month early.
Dandelions are out.As are the very peculiar mistletoe flowers.They make the rudimentary soopollallie flowers look almost normal.The first tiny violets are out.And I have my first volunteers. I have taught Jamie, Jordan and Myles to use a chainsaw, and they have been working hard cutting and hauling firewood for next winter. I figured this was the best way for me to use three young muscular males. Unfortunately, two of them are very left handed: the chain saw is not designed for lefties and my heart was in my mouth watching them work!These nice dead beetle-killed trees were on a small hill surrounded by ditches. The ditches were completely dry, was impossible to drive onto the hill without building a bridge. So the guys’ most useful attribute was carrying the wood to a loading point.And filling the woodshed. (The blue staining of the sapwood is due to the fungus carried by the beetle. The fungus blocks the tree’s plumbing so the beetles do not drown in sap.)After four weeks I am finally eating bits of salad out of the box I built in the greenhouse. It has a lid that shuts at night and a blanket that goes over the top on colder nights (temps are still -5C to -10C, even though they might be +20C in the afternoon. My first attempt at growing tomatoes froze them instantly so I am bringing the next batch inside the house at night.)From the south bluff, cut leafed fleabane and Jacob’s ladder are blooming.
While I was sitting enjoying the flowers, a female mountain blue bird obligingly posed on a snag.Western toads are about (just as common as ever in this area.)And mourning cloak butterflies, this one looking pretty smart despite its hibernation.The muskrat has quietly reappeared in the pond.The green leaves still have a long way to go, but the pussy willows are blooming fully. (This one is female so not so yellow.)
And as soon as they blossom, the rufous hummingbirds arrive!