I know I’m not the first person to comment on our strange seasons this year, but what the…..???? We had a few weeks of winter, less than a foot of snow spread over three or four snowfalls, and then BAM, it’s 80 degrees and everything is in bloom all at once. And the impact is all the more shocking to the senses when you’ve been sick for two weeks and unable to go outside at all, like I was. I had a great time watching some of the early migrant birds in the beginning of this month (Baltimore Oriole in March, anyone?), but then I caught the flu for a week, followed by a week of an excruciating ulcer flareup that kept me in bed even longer. So when I finally felt human again today and was able to go outside I was shocked to find our weeping cherry tree in full bloom. On March 23. I just checked my pics from last year and it didn’t bloom until the last day of APRIL. I’m just stunned.
And have you gotten your first mosquito bites yet? I have. Unbelievable. I almost feel like Rip Van Winkle — it would be easier to comprehend this much of a shift in seasons if I’d been out of commission for 20 years rather than two weeks.
We’ve had reports of hummingbirds arriving already, so I managed to get one of our nectar feeders out a few days ago. And even though some people say it’s not possible for an oriole to be here yet, I swear there was a Baltimore Oriole singing in our yard this past week. I saw it and heard it, and confirmed the song with my Audubon Birds app. And in other exciting birding news, a male Eastern Bluebird checked out two of our nestboxes about a week ago. This is the first time I’ve ever seen a bluebird in our yard, let alone one that’s thinking of moving in. I’m very encouraged, even though our yard isn’t the type of place they usually choose to nest in. But clearly strange things are afoot in 2012, so nothing is impossible.
My tiny patch of hellebores has bloomed early too, and I really want to add more of them this year. You wouldn’t think a green flower would be all that pretty, but I find their subtle reds, pinks and yellows give them just the right amount of color. And the fact that they’re poisonous means that the deer will probably leave them alone. And that’s ALWAYS a good thing.
I hope you get to spend some time outdoors this weekend. Don’t forget to inhale deeply and look at the sky while you’re out there.