Monday, February 17, 2014
This picture was taken last week, at my local park by the river. Chunks of ice were floating merrily along downstream, but this bush - whatever it is - is in full bloom. The only thing I know of that usually blooms this early is forsythia, but that's yellow. Anybody have any ideas on this?
The alder catkins have been out for some two weeks now. Even if I couldn't see them for myself, I'd know they had bloomed by the number of people sneezing and wiping their eyes. Luckily, I am not allergic to alder or any other plant, as far as I know. I feel for those who suffer seasonal allergies; it must be like having a head cold all the time - something which I can especially sympathize with at the moment, as I have one.
Then, today as I was doing the evening feeding, I heard at least two separate frogs. The first frogs of the season! Without seeing them, of course I don't know exactly what kind of frogs they were, but a quick glance at the Washington state department of fish and wildlife page on frogs suggests they were almost certainly Pacific Tree Frogs. These tiny and adorable bright green frogs are also called Peepers and their song is one of the earliest signs of spring.
Another sign of spring - itchy garden hands. Two weeks ago, during a short stretch of sunny days that heated the greenhouse right up, I placed a sheet of pane glass over a claw foot bathtub full of dirt to make the annual Redneck Cold Frame. Then I waited for the dirt to warm up. Three days ago I went to check and it seemed pretty warm to me. I did not, however, apply the traditional English method of checking the soil temperature that I heard described by an English lady on the radio the other day. "Just take your knickers down and sit your bum down. If it feels nice and cozy, you're ready to plant!"
I used my elbow, and although it might be just a wee bit hardier than my nether region, nonetheless I decided to go for it. I planted arugula, which is what I usually plant first thing. The Idiot Gardener says I shouldn't plant arugula this time of year (he calls it "Rocket") but I don't have to listen to him, as he is an idiot. Just to cover my bets, I will plant mixed mustards in the other bathtub next week.
How about you? Any signs of spring yet where you are?