Sunday, March 1, 2009

Week 16- March 1- 20 days until Spring

March. It’s March. We have left January and February behind us. It is all down hill at this point. When we leave work around 6 in the evening it is now light out. Even when it is sunny it seems brighter.
And the true sign of spring is here. We have ladybugs starting to emerge in our house. They come out of the windows and light fixtures. We have a ten bug rule. If you can count at least ten ladybugs in one room at a time, (you can only count the ones that are alive) you can go get the vacuum cleaner and suck them up. Mostly we wind up doing this in the fall.

The snow is gone again. Snowdrops are very much in evidence, even if they are a little subdued today as it is just 21 degrees as I write this at 1pm. There are 50’s in the forecast for this week. Everything should be popping by next weekend.
Almost as a bonus to go with the crisp clear day today, the robins showed up. I had heard they were down in Washington Iowa (30 miles south of us) two weeks ago. Well this afternoon they got to our neighborhood. There must have been 50-75 of them, looking fatter than you would think for this time of year.

So where is the contest.
This last week the winner was the… Orchid Cactus. The remaining 3 pictures all had strong support. But only winners advance and the Orchid Cactus moves into the finals in one week where the other entries so far are the purple iris and the Monsella tulip.
Here are the details from this last week:

Orchid cactus 22+2=24 for 38.1%
Yellow poppy 12+1=13 for 20.6%
White crocus 8+4=12 for 19.0%
Shirley the tulip 10+4=14 for 22.2%
Total 52+11=63

On to this week’s contest, the contest that will complete the final four.

First up is the White Poppy called Royal Wedding. Poppies are good. The Oriental poppies are just one of many kinds. The Orientals bloom about he first of June and then the entire plant goes dormant. This picture was taken on June 7.
I am going to try some California poppies this year. They are annuals that rebloom throughout the summer.

Then there is this great anemone, one of the blandas. What a color. They are bulbs that clump up and provide great color in the second half of the bulb season, which is just around the corner. This picture was taken on April 20.

Next is the great prickly red thing. Actually it is a seedpod from the castor bean. I should think about starting some castor beans from seeds in the near future.

The final contestant this week is the pulmonaria Raspberry Splash. The pulmonaria should be showing some green soon themselves. They are a wonderful complement to spring bulbs. And they spread. Pretty soon you have them all over.

Vote away.
For your bonus pictures this week there are snowdrops and robins.If you look closely at the snowdrop pictures you will see the squill seeds sprouting.

Enjoy the week.

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