Thursday, May 17, 2012


I have avoided writing about our amazing spring mostly because it was so hit and miss and I never knew when it would really happen.  March was beautiful.  Out on a country road, we saw a beautiful field full of tiny crocuses.  As you can see above, they are like a mass of blue.  The first picture is a close up, so you can see how many were in that lovely field.

We had some white daffodils by our front door that took several weeks to finally bloom.  I thought at first they were crocuses, but they kept growing bigger and bigger.  Then when they finally bloomed I thought they might be narcissus or jonquils because I thought daffodils were only yellow.
So I did some research and discovered that daffodils could be many different colors and shades, that the main difference was that daffodils have only one bloom per stem, as opposed to the other two which have multiple blooms.  This bank of daffodils was along the street in front of our apartment complex and they lasted for weeks because the weather was so cool.  Aren't they gorgeous?

April brought more winter, snow, rain, wind and cold, but somehow the daffodils survived and trees began to bloom.  This is a lovely dogwood tree by the front door of the Utica chapel.  Small but sweet.  Below is a close up of the blossoms.  It continued blooming for nearly a month.

There are several matching trees in front of the church, all of them covered with tiny white blossoms.  They began blooming about the middle of April in spite of the cold, nasty weather.  These trees are very popular here--they seem to be everywhere.  As you can see, there are still lots of "winter dead" trees in the background.  There are so many varieties of trees here and they don't all get leaves at the same time.  It's been fun watching the various trees take on color, discovering which ones will flower and which will be covered with lacy green  leaves, and others which seem to grow large green leaves very quickly.  In early March there were a lot of magnolia trees blooming, but a cold spell killed all the blooms after about 10 days.  That was sad, especially since I didn't get any pictures of them.

                                         There are grape hyacinths growing in front of the church, too.  They bloomed for over a month, too.

April also brought leaves to more large and small trees throughout town.  They started out a deep red color, then continued darkening to this deep reddish brown.  In the past week or two, they have been starting to turn a really deep green.  You can see a hint of the green in the close up of the leaf below.  You can also see that these are maple trees.  The strange thing is, I thought maples were supposed to turn a gorgeous red in the fall, but last fall, they didn't take on any color at all!  The green leaves just seemed to dry on the tree then fall off.  Strange.

As you can see, most of the trees have gotten their leaves, but there are still a few slow ones.

                                         They have a lot of beautiful flowering crab trees, too.

We have violets growing in our grass.  We have to look really close to see them.  This picture was taken in early April.  You can see that our grass is very green.  It actually never turned brown!  It didn't grow through the winter, but it was still green.  Fun, huh?
We have a tiny forest growing just down the hill south of our apartment.  It has lots of trees, bushes and ground cover and is like a tiny spot of natural wilderness tucked in the middle of the suburban sprawl--lots of fun that is actually quite common here.  These violets are growing on the edge of our forest.  One of the loveliest things about this area is the many areas of natural growth set in almost every little valley or any place where the terrain is too steep to build on.