Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Spring Surprises!

One of the good things about being away these last two weekends is that when we get home, there are surprises waiting...the next phase of spring has moved right in, without preamble.

We came home to the apple tree in full tilt boogie, as seen above. Then this morning I discovered that the wild violets have arrived.

The last of the tulips that I planted over 20 years ago have bloomed:

We had some tree work done last spring on our linden tree, and while they were here we had the tree guys cut all the old dead wood out of a large stand of lilac. I've been interested to see how the remaining lilacs would respond, and they seem very happy as you can see. Now I want to plant some light purple/lilac colored plants in between - although it would probably be heavy digging through the old roots.

We got several inches of rain over the weekend and our cow pond is finally looking like it should in the spring. We've had two very dry years and this spring fed pond dried up to a tiny puddle last summer. Since we have well water here (wonderful, tasty well water) it makes me nervous to see the pond low. So this is a happy sight!

Then, when I walked out to my car, I discovered a small community of new anthills right next to my car. I had to tread carefully not to crush the industry of the ants:

Our 100 year old Virginia farm house had peonies, lilac, forsythia and a few roses when we moved in 23 years ago, but no redbud and no dogwood, which I think of as traditional local trees. We moved our office last summer from downtown Leesburg to a residential street in the smaller town of Purcellville, and there is a small dogwood tree right out front. I've been watching the buds come on over the last few weeks. I had forgotten that the flowers come before the leaves with dogwood.

The flowers are coming on very quickly now, and today they look like this!

I made good progress on my Swallowtail shawl, completing the bud lace section and knitting most of the first lily of the valley chart. Nupps! Purl 5 together... boy do I love these Knit Picks Harmony needles and their pointy points. A little Ancient Bark progress and I have the front of my Sea Vines vest blocked and drying. But MS&W is coming up quickly!

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