Friday, 17 April 2015

The early signs of spring

After working in the vegetable garden edging and worrying the whole time that is too early, that I might be permanently destroying the structure of the soil by working while it is too cold and wet, I decided to go for a walk through the fields to the woods. After hours of bending over I also need to remind myself that I am a biped who walks upright. And to reward Scylla who yet again demonstrated her patience and loyalty sitting right by me for hours today and yesterday.

On first appraisal there's not much to see. It is a very monochromatic scene but the sun was out and it was a beautiful 20C. The wind strong but warm.
A beautiful Wedgewood blue sky with puffy cumulus clouds.
The strong wind ruffles Scylla's fur, but not her enthusiasm.

But this time of year rewards closer observations. I love the old cedar fences with their robing of rich green moss.
The moss facing north grows thick and luxurious.

Being on the edge of the Canadian Shield, most pastures are dotted by outcroppings of rocks festooned with lichen.
In the middle of the pasture this outcropping of rocks and a few hardy shrubs.
Different lichens on the rocks

Bird nests are easy to see when not hidden by deciduous leaves.
A large nest; a perfectly circular bowl that seems made of clay
A much smaller nest high in the crown of this alder tree

And pussy willows are out but not yet flowering.
Pussy willows 

Once you come to the woods, a natural, not cultivated landscape, one sees that, in fact, lots is happening. Ferns cover the forest floor and the different tree barks are noticeable. The few leaves on the trees are beautiful for their rarity.
Ferns cover much of the forest floor and the coniferous needles lend lots of green
A beautiful yellow birch in the forefront with white birch in the background
A ghostly beech sapling

I love these woods with their relatively minor human disturbances. Here is a great old snag, clearly having provided homes for birds or animals for many years.
Many cavities up and down this snag

I come upon the first ramps, a foreshadowing of more to come once the forest changes from coniferous to deciduous.
An isolated clump of ramps.
Further along the gentle slope of the deciduous woods is covered with ramps.

Railway Creek's spring run-off has broken through the beaver lodge and created a few waterfalls that only exist at this time of year.
The breach in the beaver dam.
Even Scylla, who hates water, can't resist exploring this new development.
The first of the spring ephemerals are in bloom.
I think this is a white hepatica
Once we're back home there are a few courageous plants that offer a bit of colour.
An early crocus

And a very early bee covered with pollen.
Johnny Jump Up catching the sunlight

The rhubarb sporting the complementary colours of red and green, and the contrasting smooth and rough textures of emerging leaves and stalks..
The garden after I edged some of the beds ready to be planted once the soil is warm and workable.

The beds in the original vegetable garden with their (for now) crisp edges.
As I write this the sun is setting, the temperature is plummeting toward its predicted low of 2C and the spring peepers fill the evening with their chorus. Spring may not feel committed but it is definitely on its way.

1 comment:

  1. Hard to believe this is your first post since Christmastime. A lovely travelogue through the fledgling spring of Cooper Road. Thanks! Diane