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Annual Spring Report 2016

The photos below were all taken on May 1st, the date I have used to compare the progress of spring for some time now.

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The woods have just a hint of green, – most trees have only small buds, while a few early ones are sporting tiny leaves.

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The pussy willow has been out for some time. There is still lots of snow in the mountains and temperatures have been quite low so far.

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Crocuses are mostly finished, most of the daffodils are budding, and so is the cherry tree.

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Only the very early daffodils and the ones growing in the most sunny places are in bloom.

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The tulips along the south wall have large buds.

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The spiraea bush, – the very first bush that was planted in our garden nearly 40 years ago, is starting to sprout leaves, but no flowers yet. The rose bush to the right was planted about the same time, and will hopefully display its white roses in a couple of months.

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The field looks yellow and bleak, but there must be something green growing underneath since the deer turn up grazing there almost every day.

 

ūüôā

Eldrid

 

Annual Spring Report

It is interesting to look back on my previous spring reports and compare between the different years.

This year beats all the previous ones in terms of early blooming.

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We have had a very mild winter with next to no snow, and then the last part of April was exceptionally warm, …..

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…….so the woods turned green record early, and everything was suddenly in bloom.

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On May 1st. when these photos were taken, a little bit of winter had returned. Showers of snow are coming down from the north.

In between the showers, the sun comes out, and everything looks like summer again, ……

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…. but it is quite cold when venturing outside.¬† I love the colour of new leaves when the sun filters through.

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The white wagtail  (motacilla alba)  has returned from Africa, and is busy patrolling our veranda bannister, hopping and flying up and down outside the windows to catch insects hiding between the wall boards.

In between he rests on the telephone line.

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The cherries and plums are in bloom record early. During the warmer days earlier, a few bumble bees were busy visiting the flowers, but there are not a lot of other insects around yet.

 

All the narcissuses have been out for at least a week, and hopefully they will last a bit longer now the weather has turned cold again.

 

Hopefully that will also be the case with the rhododendrons and tulips as well, – some of the latter being nearly finished already.

The strawberry bench is in good shape already, and the blueberries have been blooming for two weeks. I cannot remember seeing blueberries in bloom in April before.

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It is even earlier than the spring of 2011, which was the best one before now, since I started taking photos in 2009.

Spring has been really good this far, so I will not complain about a little cold and snow, even if it is May.

(As long as there is no real frost, that is.)

ūüôā

Eldrid

Spring again

Since this blog is the closest I will get to a diary, I will post some spring photos to be compared with last year’s spring, – and then hopefully next year and many years after.

May 1st will be a good date for comparison, – easy to remember.

Yesterday I took some photos of the woods.

There is just a hint of green about the woods, approximately as in the photo I posted on April 15th last year.

Only my very earliest small daffodils are out (close to the tree trunks). The others have yellowing buds. No leaves on the fruit trees yet, – or what is left of them after the havoc wreaked on them last autumn by the deer.

Last year a friend brought a bouquet of narcissus and a branch of pear tree in full bloom on my birthday.

It has been snowing both yesterday and today, but luckily it is melting at once. By law, we should have had the winter tyres off the car nearly three weeks ago, but we did not change them till this weekend. The roads have been snowy more than once during that time.

Not much greenery on the trees, but the pussy willow is in full bloom. Looking out of the window, it looks so nice with the sun shining in between the spells of snow, but the air is bitterly cold, so there is no going out without a winter jacket on.

Now we want some warmer temperatures soon.

Eldrid

One or two?

From time to time spruce seedlings find their way into our garden. When we see them, they are uprooted and planted again in a spot where they can hopefully survive, and in time serve as Christmas trees. The survival rate of these uprooted seedlings is not impressive, – in fact, it is much better for the ones that have been left to grow where they first appeared. Two of the latter category have been growing in the middle of our hedge, which, incidentally, has a very low survival rate too, – only a few shrubs left by now. However, we do not want any large spruce trees there either, so last year one of them was elected “Christmas Tree of 2008”. We decided to save the other one for 2009.

We did not count on the number of centimetres the last one was to grow during that year, though.

One evening a few days before Christmas Asbj√łrn made his way through the snow and cut down the tree. The red spot is part of his jacket, – he is behind the tree, sawing and sawing.

At last he got it down.

Having dragged it onto the front steps, he was almost out of breath, and was having second thoughts. The tree was too tall, and too wide, to make it into the house. Hmmm, – what to do now?

First of all, a lot of centimetres was cut off from both the top and bottom, and the foot came on, – just.

Now, it was possible to press it through the front door, but is was so wide we could not get it any further. Only one thing to do, – find the garden shears and start cutting and pruning.

And no, – the photo is not a double exposure, – it really has two trunks and two tops.

It finally made it into the living room, – still a bit “fat”, but manageable. We had to buy an extra ornament for the extra top, which in the years to come will remind us of this particular tree, – or maybe we should say trees.¬† It, – they,¬† – are far from perfect, yet very memorable¬† ūüôā

A very Happy Christmas to everyone!

Eldrid

Ten days later…

.. the woods have turned a lovely green colour, despite the spell of rather cold north wind we had some days back.

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The last of our narcissus are just coming out, – we have lots and lots along the garden fence, and I love it when they are all in bloom.

narcissus

Eldrid

It is happening again…

..and it cannot be stopped. (Not that anyone would want to) ūüėČ

The woods are turning green yet again.

With the weather we are having now, and what has been forecast, it will happen very quickly.

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The last couple of days there has been a sudden change, – from the faintest hint of green all over, to some clear green tree- shapes here and there.

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Some birches are earlier out than others, and it is always the same ones.  They are also first to turn yellow in autumn, Рso I guess it is sort of fair.

Spring is a lovely time of year, – and has some beautiful green colours to it.

Eldrid

Trees gone

Many years ago Asbj√łrn, my husband, planted three small trees in a corner of what was then his parents’ garden.¬† Later we built our house nearby.

The trees grew year by year, Рat one time they were just the right size to be decorated with Christmas lights, but that soon stopped.  The branches were so wide, we had to cut some of them away to have access to what was now our garden on the other side of the  trees.  Trimming and trimming every year, we managed to keep this archway open.

At one time we were determined to cut the trees down, because they were now too tall and cast a lot of shadow in summer.¬† Our youngest daughter protested, – she had set up “house” with her friends among the branches at that time.¬† A compromise was reached, – we cut the tops off, and she kept the branches she needed.

The trees continued to grow, – never mind their tops missing.¬† The top branches just turned upward and each tree had now three or four tops.¬†¬†Asbj√łrn risked his limbs once more and climbed up to cut the tops again, and also a third time.

With both our daughters now grown up, we once more were talking seriously about cutting everything down. 

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The photo above was taken in May three years ago.  The shadows are long and deep onto the front patio where we can sit sheltered from the west wind.  There were always two or three swarms of mosquitoes underneath the branches, and at this time a couple of magpies were also nesting in one of the trees, so they could not be cut down till the nest was empty.

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Finally it happened.¬† The other day our kind neighbour, Asbj√łrn’s cousin, came by, bringing his chain saw, and together they brought the trees down, without¬†any damage to¬†the lilac bushes or plum trees that we very much would like to keep intact.¬† Well done.

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They had quite a job cutting and carrying away all the branches.  The front patio is much lighter already.

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Here everything is cleared away, and the trunks cut up and placed to one side to be cut into firewood later, – all in good time.

I am looking forward to a lot more sunshine here, and a lot less mosquitoes, and I hope to be able to sit outside and sew even if the west wind is blowing.  Having more than our share of rain and cold weather, we take care to enjoy all the sunshine we can get.

Eldrid