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Signs of Life

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As the weather finally begins to warm up, I see new signs of life appearing as if by magic.

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Pussy Willow is in full bloom now, and Forsythia is putting on a lovely show.

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A closeup shot shows some baby blooms on the lilac in my front garden.

The pasture is greening up nicely, and I can see I will soon have to think about mowing my lawn.

Orchids and Butterflies

IMG_4078Our weather seems to be playing a belated April Fool’s joke on us.  I awoke this morning to about an inch of snow on the ground.  Poor light and rain have discouraged me from taking the camera out lately, so I am glad to be able to post a few more photos from my visit to Dow Gardens.

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They have a nice collection of orchids, and the camera really doesn’t do them justice.  They are so beautiful and exotic.

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This Giant Swallowtail was attracted to a lady’s flowered blouse and rested there for quite some time, giving many people a great photo-op!

 

More from Dow Gardens

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I did not expect to be taking outside shots when I visited Dow Gardens, but even with the river still ice-covered and snow on the ground there were many attractive areas.

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The brief walk from the entrance to the Conservatory revealed this lovely waterfall.

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This red bridge is one of three at the gardens, designed by Alden B. Dow.

As March draws to a close, Spring still seems to be dragging her feet.  Yesterday brought us a rain/snow mix all day, and today is just cold, wet and dreary.  So glad I have these sunny pictures to remind me of a pleasant day out.

A Visit to Dow Gardens

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I would not normally consider visiting a botanical garden in late Winter, but Dow Gardens has a conservatory which offers a Butterfly exhibit in March and April, and I just couldn’t resist this brief taste of Summer, as I wait impatiently for warmer days.

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 The butterflies are more active when the sun shines, so I took advantage of a rare sunny day for the trip, and spent a very pleasant couple of hours enjoying the warmth and color of many different flowers and butterflies.

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The hour and a half drive each way made for a rather tiring day for me, but it was well worth it!  I definitely plan to come back later in the season when the outdoor flowers are in bloom.

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I will post some more of the 50 plus photos I took in later blogs.  At least it will make a change from all the snow and ice shots I have been posting lately!

 

 

No Lamb in Sight!

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Well, we are now almost halfway through March, and there is no sign of any lambs yet!  Last Wednesday falling temperatures and high winds knocked out power to a good part of the state, and I was without heat, light and water from Wednesday until Friday.  I heard on the news this morning, that there are many people still out, and I really feel for them.

The lake in the Park, which was completely free of ice a couple of weeks ago, is now almost completely frozen over, and to add insult to injury, we have several inches of snow on the ground.

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I finally managed a couple of shots of a male Cardinal as he waited his turn at the feeder.  The feeder has been busy and I hope my offerings are helping these tiny creatures make it through the bitterly cold nights.

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This Tree Sparrow was almost too quick for me, but I managed to catch him in flight.

Less than a week until the Official start of Spring.  If only Mother Nature would cooperate!

In Like a Lion

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I hope the old saying that if March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb holds true, because we are truly back in the deep freeze now!  Wednesday night brought falling temperatures and blowing snow, and after a couple of bitterly cold days and nights, the lake, which was ice-free last week is now starting to ice over again.

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My feeder is once more doing a brisk trade and I notice Goldfinches are showing signs of changing to their bright Summer plumage, which is a hopeful sign.

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A couple of pairs of Cardinals have been regular visitors, but they have been hard to capture.  They usually take off the minute I pick up the camera!

 

 

Signs of Spring

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After about a week of unseasonably warm temperatures, we are seeing quite a few signs of Spring.  The ice has retreated from the lakes and ponds, and the Canada Geese are back in force.

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The Pussy Willow is beginning to bud, and the Park was full of the sound of Redwing Blackbirds this morning.  Not only are the Robins back, but I actually heard one singing the other day!

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I have been a little lax in refilling my bird feeder, but with the snow all gone, and the summer-like temperatures, I don’t think it is needed as much.

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Today is wet and chilly, and colder temperatures are on the way, but these last few warm, sunny days have been a wonderful break.  March in Michigan is very unpredictable.  It often brings warmth and sunshine, followed by a major snowstorm, so we cannot afford to let our guard down just yet!

Icy Stream

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We managed another walk at the Conservatory the other day.  Still some ice and snow on the trails, so I had to tread carefully, but was glad I made the effort.

The level of the stream was down a little since I was here last, and snow and ice made for some interesting shots.

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Scared up at least a dozen deer from the meadow.  The most I have seen since hunting season ended.  Unfortunately they spotted me before I realized they were there, so all I saw was white tails disappearing into the woods.  No chance for a photo. 😦

Oak Leaves On Ice

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Our weather continues to be very changeable.  We had another warm-up yesterday, but it rained all day, so it wasn’t pleasant.

We were back to freezing this morning and I captured these oak leaves on a frozen puddle in the Park.

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Frost decorated this fence-post a few mornings ago.

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My bird feeder continues to be busy.  Some days the birds are lining up on the deck railing, waiting for a turn!  I especially enjoy the Chickadees.  Always cheerful, even on the coldest days, and so bold, they will sometimes land on the feeder before I have it on the hook!

Nature Conservancy

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We managed a walk at the Nature Conservancy last week.  As I expected, the stream there was very high from all the rain and snow melt we have had.

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We have several inches of snow on the ground now, so I probably won’t walk there again until the footing improves.

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