I Could Scream, Or Why I Haven’t Blogged

So I got new Anti-Virus software, woo-hoo, it is supposed to protect my computer even more than my last package. Except it won’t let me freakin’ blog and I haven’t figured out how to make it let me yet, grrrr. How am I blogging now? Don’t ask. So much for the new and improved version, huh? Phew, thanks for letting me get *that* off my chest. I will figure it out. And I won’t spend 20 hours on some phone with their technical staff, because I know how irritating *that* is.

Just a few of the many photos I’ve been taking – Daffodil perfection, before the rains came and ruined them all.

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Ahhh, I love daffodils!

And sweet kitty faces.

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She was smooshing her nose into the knees of my pants after I had been working in the garden. She’s such a little sweetie, my Dad’s little kitty. Can you believe she still misses him and looks for him?

Oh yeah, I just realized it’s my second blogiversary.  Woo-Hoo.

Happy Wordless Wednesday

This spider kept running away from the camera so it was really hard to capture him, and he turned out too bright, but still, these little spiders I never really looked at before are soooo cool! He was running around on a box elder.

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Into The Woods

Finally! I was able to get out into the woods yesterday afternoon after having spent all morning and early afternoon first working on my yard and then my Mom’s yard. And I was hoping, based on the past dates in my Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide that I would be able to find some of my favorite spring flowers in bloom. And we did! Yay!

We were so excited to spy some lovely little patches of Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

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I *love* this flower. And in New York State this plant is listed as Exploitably Vulnerable 😦

And then we spied tons of Trout Lilies or Yellow Adder’s Tongue or Dogtooth Violet (Erythronium americanum) (don’t you love all of the common names).

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You can see the brown mottling on the leaves.

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And then another favorite of mine, Cut-leaved Toothwort or Pepperroot (Dentaria laciniata), and you can see where both the common name and latin names come from by this next photo:

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Here’s one with a white flower and a little bee pollinating it:

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And one with pinkish flowers:

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This next flower I know is a Hepatica (Hepatica nobilis), but I’m not sure whether it is a sharp-lobed or blunt-lobed since I didn’t look at the leaves (bad Pam).

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Another favorite of mine, and one of the 100 herbs I had to learn inside and out, Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)

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I love the way the leaves come up (and don’t you love the way they poke right through the dried tree leaves)?

I love the leaves when they’re unfolded:
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And, of course, I have to show the coolest parts, the spathe and spadix (the spathe being the outer hood and the spadix the knob-shaped cluster inside of it).

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We also saw Marsh Marigolds or Cowslip (Caltha palustris) but it was too early for their blossoms:

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(sorry no closeups, I wasn’t prepared to go into the water, and I don’t really know how deep it is).

There’s a platform at the edge of the swamp that you can watch and listen to all kinds of birds. I accidentally flushed out a turkey, but didn’t capture a photo of it. Here’s last year’s cattails:

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And I spied some eyeballs, can you see them?

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Here’s a crop of this photo so you can see the eyeballs a little better:

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There’s tons of frogs here.

We tried finding sunning turtles, but I guess we were too late in the day for them. We did see a couple of snakes, but I was only able to capture this Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis):

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I love snakes! You can also see how profuse the Trout-Lilies are here, along with the Cut-Leaved Toothwort. And I love my new book The Amphibians and Reptiles of New York State because I don’t have to weed through a million species! (P.S. Mary, you’ve *got* to check out the cover of this book)!

Another one of my favorites, moss around the base of a tree in the swamp:
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And a burl. I would love to see the inside of it.
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And you know I can’t walk through the woods without photographing fungus:
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That’s basically it! Except for all of the tremendous sounds in the woods – the bird calls, peepers, etc. We couldn’t have picked a better day to go into the woods! I used to walk through these woods every day, and I miss them very much!

P.S. And for the record, it was 86 degrees F today. Yes, in April. Very unusual for this time of year.

Doin’ It

I was outside minding my own business taking photos of my daffodils, which seemed to have all blossomed at once given the great weather we’ve been having, when I spied insects on one of my daffodils.

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Already then, I couldn’t wait to blow this photo up to have a closer look, because it looks like they’re doin’ “it!”

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I’ll look this bug up in my bug book when it’s dark and cooler out. For now, I want to show you the coolest spider, and then get back outside!

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It looks like he’s transparent! Hmmm, I’ll check this guy out later, too! Enjoy the weather!

Finally! More Blossoms!

While I still just have crocus in blossom at my home, my Mom now has violets in her lawn:

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And her tulips are coming out:

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Some daffodils in blossom:

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And primroses:

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And her lilac buds are starting to burst open:

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Ahhhh, color is coming, slow but sure!

Wanna Know One Thing I Really Can’t Stand?

Hearing about people’s illnesses. I’m just too empathetic. Yesterday one of the employees was throwing up and she came to my office with her throw up voice to ask me if she could go home because she was throwing up and she proceeded to tell me the details of what she was throwing up. Now I am a very compassionate, sympathetic / empathetic person, but I really don’t need the details. Because it makes me want to throw up, too.

And another thing, one of the problems of working with women is having to hear when they are having their “monthly” and the details of that, too (and this includes my boss). WTF? Really. Details.  I’m a female, I don’t need “those” details, seriously.

And diarrhea. Why do I have to hear that someone has taken 20,000 Immodium things and still is having diarrhea?

Since when have we gotten so open and vocal about these personal things? I really don’t want to know details, do you? Blech.

Here, let’s have another view of the man with chaps to take our minds off of the gory details:
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Ahhh, that’s better!

One Year Ago Today. . .

I thought I was in “hell.” This was the day my Dad was taken from us. Today Mom wanted to visit the cemetery, so we took off from work (yay!) and spent part of this beautiful, 64 degree F day in the cemetery he’s buried in.

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They still don’t have his bronze plaque on the monument yet. Hopefully next time!

We also visited the cemetery where my Mom’s Mother is buried (among many of our other relatives) and found that someone had carved this little heart seat out of a stump.

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We also visited my Grandmother’s cousin, who is almost 90. Wow! Can you imagine living until you’re 90?

More, um, Crocus

Well, I haven’t gotten out into the woods to see if the spring flowers are appearing yet, but I will! For now, here’s more crocus, but never fear, the daffodils are coming along nicely!

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Daffodils are getting there!

You may wonder why I have leaves in my garden. Well, my neighbor’s tree which borders on my property doesn’t drop its leaves until after it starts snowing. So I always end up with leaves all over my lawn and garden in the spring even though mine are raked in the fall. And it’s still too wet to mess with picking them out. And I do compost them once I do pick them out. I have a nice big compost pile.

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These are so pretty growing right in the sunshine.

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This one has pollen all over its petals.

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Ohhh, I didn’t know I had this kind. How pretty!

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And these are some of my favorites.

Enjoy this sunshiny day!  Well, I hope it’s sunny where you are!

My Crocus

Yesterday I showed you my Mom’s crocus. Today my crocus started blossoming!

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I love the way the light makes the petals sparkle.

This is a top view of the same crocus flower.

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Whoa! Nothing like a photo to really show the details! I had to crop this one to get closer to the center.

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I’m going to have to investigate this more!

Here’s some crocus in my other garden:

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Yes, I am just focused on crocus right now because that’s *all* that’s blossoming here right now!

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Happy sunny Thursday!

Snow and Flowers

Last Friday I awoke to the sound of a snow plow going down my street. What the heck? There were five inches of fresh, spring snow that fell overnight.

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Lovely, really, it was lovely on the trees in my backyard and on the ones all of the way to work. I wanted to take photos the entire way there, but you know, traffic was an issue.

Then Saturday it was blue skies and beautiful. My daffodils are just a little taller than the last time I showed them to you. They’re trying!

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And while I was looking around for plant growth, I heard this beautiful red guy making all kinds of racket in the red maple across the street:
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On Sunday my Mom and I pruned her ornamental trees and shrubs. I always forget that I need to keep my mouth shut (no talking) while pruning (sawing) because sawdust flies into my mouth! And as I went to prune her weeping cherry tree, I spied this single little crocus, and it made me smile wide, because it exudes such happiness all in one little flower.

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Here’s a side view of the same happy little flower:

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And my Mom’s daffodils are up a little higher than mine. Which makes sense, because even though we’re only 20 minutes apart, I’m in a different zone (growing, not time). So my spring starts a little later, but the flip side to that is my fall lasts a little longer.

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Happy Wednesday everyone. And I’m sorry I’m cutting down on my blog time, but my time is really at a premium these days!