Signs of Spring

by Donna Lewis

Hi there,

I took a little stroll around the front five acres and saw all of these signs of Spring.

There are many wildflowers, a budding tree, and even some bluebonnets.

Of course, if you get too excited and start planting stuff…you know what is still lurking in the coming weeks, a freeze!!!!!

Budding tree

Happy trails to you. (Roy Rogers sang that).

They’re Back

by Donna Lewis

This past Monday (February 21st) the first purple martin called out as he was flying oner me. What a glorious sound that is to a martin fan!! I recognized it instantly and started to scan the skies for my friend. He circled around my gourd house as they do when coming down to land. Yes, he landed on the top perch and checked it out.

There he is!

I have been watching and waiting for their return. Weather has a huge impact on their arrival time. Cold and wet can kill them in about five days. They must have live flying insects to eat. So, no bugs, no food. As is usual, we are expecting cold and wet weather for the next several days.

Do I worry? Of course, I do. I just have to wait and know that they will likely be OK since the weather is scheduled to clear up shortly.

I have not seen them this morning, they are probably in the woods or searching for food somewhere.

This is just the meet and greet they do when finding a mate for this year. Nesting will happen for a month or more. How appropriate that it’s close to Valentines’ Day.

So now I wait and watch to see if my colony will grow and prosper in 2022.

Finally, the mesmerizing martin song will be heard again.

Donna’s Garden, Early April

by Donna Lewis

As promised, I am taking photos of my pollinator garden every month or so.

The “Uri” storm or as I called it “The Arctic Beast” pretty much took a terrible toll on the garden. I was very upset about it. I understand that nature has its own way.

Nothing could stop the verbena!

The garden, along with so many animals and plants could not stand 10 days of freezing weather.    Many were lost to it. 

I and many others put out tons of extra bird seed. I know it helped some of the birds. I tried to keep water for them also. You have to do what you can.

Plants are returning! And there’s water for the birds.

So for the last couple of weeks, I have been trimming and cutting back all the dead plants in the garden. I’m using lots of love and TLC to bring it back for all the bees, birds, and butterflies that come to it. It has been a slow process.

It’s nice to see something green again.

But the very reason we try to get people to plant native plants is that they are tough and hard to kill. I am seeing green leaves and little buds everywhere. It makes me happy to see it and know that nature is very resilient. 

Looking healthy!

The monarchs are still coming through now. I hope I will have something blooming soon for them.   As Master Naturalists, we never give up trying to save our beautiful planet filled with amazing animals and a green paradise of plants.

As my favorite saying goes…

…we were not born to do everything,  but to do something.