Grit Blogs > Rosedale Garden

Spring Trips and spring arrives in Alabama

This past weekend was beautiful but windy, however Influenza B decided to pay a visit and I was sick and didn't get to enjoy working out in the yard. 

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The heralds of spring, the ruby-throated hummingbirds are on the way back to our gardens.   According to the latest migrationmaps, on March 19, ruby-throated hummers are at the top of my state.  

When feeding hummingbirds don’t use the red dye stuff you find in the store. It’s very simple to make your own.  Use one part sugar and four parts of very hot to boiling water.  Mix well, cool and fill feeders.  It’s important to change out feeders frequently, especially during hot weather. If the water becomes cloudy it’s past time to change it.  At the first of the spring until I start seeing hummingbirds at my feeder, I’ll use 1/8 C sugar and ½ water.  As I have more birds, I’ll start putting more feeders out. 

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One interesting fact about migration, hummers will travel 25 mph hour while migrating from Mexico across the gulf and up the panhandle.  It’s an amazing feat for something that only weighs a few ounces. They don’t ride on the backs of migrating geese as some wise tails have it.  The wings will flap 55 times a second.  The average lifespan of a hummingbird is around four years.        

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     Anemone Lord Lieutenant 7616 

My daffodils, star magnolias, saucer magnolias, lenten rose, anemone and plum trees are in bloom.  The star magnolias were hit by a freeze and aren’t as nice as last year.  The one at the corner of the house was only blooming up the side nearest the house and I thought the other side wasn't going to bloom because of the freeze damage, but it came out nicely during the warm temperatures this past weekend.  The magnolia blooms will bite the dust in the next few days when temperatures get back down into the twenties. No wonder the flu has hit our area hard   

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I’d wanted to see a local Nature Conservancy nature preserve for years called The Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve.  A local couple Jim and Faye Lacefield started buying property in the hills and hollers south of Tuscumbia and it now a Nature Conservancy project .  They built trails, bridges, outhouses and have graciously opened it up to the public during daylight hours. Knee surgeries, replacements, ankle injuries or something else had prevented me from making the trip.  Two weekends ago, the trout lilies were at their peak and a wildflower walk had a large number of folks showing up.  I almost didn’t make it up the last large hill as I got overheated even though temperatures were only in the 70’s.  Little did I know, the flu was making its introduction.  So much for taking the flu shot.

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The farmers are getting ready to start planting corn, but first need to get through one rainy and cold spell.   Weather folks are predicting freezing rain Friday morning.

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I’ve been visiting the local areas where bald eagles are nesting and overwintering and have made several dry runs getting pictures of everything but eagles.  A hacking program several years ago by the State Conservation Department introduced the eagle back to the area.  I finally hit pay dirt Tuesday when I visited a nesting area just minutes from downtown Florence and was able to photograph the nesting pair in a tree near the nest with one of last years hatchlings circling overhead.  At least two young could be heard in the nest.  Watching the female above the nest with the other two circling was a magnificent sight.  I kept wondering why in the world would Ben Franklin want the turkey as our national bird instead of the Bald eagle?

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I kept trying to figure out what that little stick thing was below the top eagle, then I remember one had gotten the call of nature while taking the picture.  I remember at the time that I hope I didn't get that.

mary carton
4/12/2013 1:05:20 AM

Thanks Cindy. I'm not sure what's going on with the webiste. I can't find this blog post from the blog page. Everything is gone past page 5. I went back to check on the eagles this week and they are so big and where testing out their wings. It won't be long until they are ready to fly. I almost didn't finish the walk I got so hot at the end. I was coming down with the flu and didn't know it until a couple of days later. I just thought it was the sinus mess from all the pollen. The dogwoods and redbuds are starting to bloom. A friend of mine garden is on a garden tour and with the crazy weather they are late blooming this year and he was worried that they would be fully in bloom. In the 80's yesterday and that seems to have brought them out. Glad you are over the flu also. It knocked me for a loop. Thanks for visiting and commenting. I've have pictures of the 2 eaglets or whatever baby eagles are called that I'll post on my next post.

cindy murphy
4/11/2013 1:11:22 AM

Sheesh, it's been a while since I've been in here! I hope that flu bug has long since departed the premises, Mary! Love the photos - the bald eagles are magnificent! And the daffodils! They are (one of) my favorite springtime flowers - ours are just beginning to bud here; right now the crocus and snowdrops are on stage. I hope you enjoyed your wildflower walk despite your past injuries. I'm leading such a walk in a couple of weeks - I was out there in the woods a few days ago, scouting what's come up; mayapples and false Solomon's seal are just little nubs, and the trout lilies are showing. Hopefully, they'll be in bloom during the walk, as well as more plants at least sprouting - spring is slow in coming to Michigan this year!

mary carton
3/28/2013 2:17:22 AM

Dave we had snow flurries yesterday. I'm so ready for spring. This time last year I had corn coming up and this year it's too wet to even get in it in addition to the cold. My internet two blew down, so I'm just now getting back in the modern world. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

mary carton
3/28/2013 2:15:11 AM

Thank you very much. Sorry I haven't responded sooner. I have wireless internet living out in the country and a wind storm blew down the tower Monday AM and they just got it back up today.

beth rickard
3/23/2013 8:16:21 PM

Like your posts alot and really enjoy your pictures !

nebraska dave
3/23/2013 1:57:48 PM

Mary, unfortunately Spring may have officially arrived but nature has decided it isn't time to act like it just yet here in Nebraska. We are getting ready for Storm Virgil and up to three more inches of snow. I'm soooo ready to be out digging in the dirt but it just isn't going to happen at least for another week. Fifty degree temperatures are not predicted to arrive until next Thursday. I don't think it will hurt gardening but it just crunches the garden prep and planting into a much shorter time frame. Have a great Spring day in the garden.