The proposed move to the north country has been put on hold until next spring. This photo is about where the 'Retreat' will be relocated - hopefully by early next May. The main house is just out of sight off to the right. The small river is straight ahead and just in view. It should be a great spot to watch all sorts of critters. (Including bears - i'm not sure I'm too keen on them). Grin.
Gizmo is ever alert and ready to scram for home. I must move very slowly and quietly. This has to be the smallest groundhog I have ever seen. But I'm happy he seems to call my backyard home. Being a vegetarian he has a taste for the bird food I put out.
Now I know who was making all the noise under the retreat. It was not a young skunk, but this little groundhog. Though very shy, he (or she) keeps coming back. Yes, I call him (or her) Gizmo. I have no idea why that name seemed to stick - it just did.
Though things were late in starting,the new blooms are doing great. We are still getting ready for our big move. I hope to be able to show you the great place that will be the new home for Rusty's Retreat - deep in the Laurentians, with a small river within feet of the front door.
I seem to be getting a very strange look. She probably wants a change in diet. No peanuts in this particular bird feeder. Though it's illegal to feed any wild critters here - including certain birds - squirrels and raccoons refuse to read the signs on the bird feeders. :-(
Again in the same spot. A new nest has been built. Now we wait and see. This is the third year on top of this spotlight. I think it was the same pair that built their nest two years prior to that on top of a fixture by the front door. This spot is much more private, protected - and safe from just about anything on the ground. Naturally this light is simply never used while the nest is occupied.
The Bleeding Heart is the first up again this year. Though it's in a raised bed on the north side of the house it probably gets some additional warmth from the basement wall. It won't be long before it's in full bloom.
Still quite a bit of snow on the ground, but I heard a couple of Robins today for the first time this year. Otherwise it's a typical April day - chilly and wet. These photos were taken a couple of days ago when it was bright though cold.
I expect I will be seeing more of a few old friends of the raccoon persuation. There is a new skunk in the area. On the small side and quite distinctive as it's tail is totally black.
Well this little plant continues to surprise me. These photos were taken a couple of days ago - and even more blooms have opened since.
I thought I had detected the start of a double crown, but after very close inspection it looks like I was wrong. Anyway, a double crown seldom detracts from a plants flowering capability, though it will destroy the symmetry of the plant.
I’m going to let it continue it’s flowering and repot it later.
No green thumb needed. If I remember correctly I killed two violets many years ago. I was on a third one - which was also looking ratty, when I decided to try putting it under a small desk lamp that was beside my computer. It worked! The plant prospered. Given enough light, and care in watering they will continue to bloom year after year. (Well, you will have to groom and repot but thats a future tale). Grin. The point is - ANYONE can grow these beautiful plants - ah well, almost anyone. They might not do so well if you lived in the artic. ;)
OK, it looks like AV growing is still in my blood. When I was out looking for the size of pot I needed - I stopped to look at the display of African violets in a place where I normally would never buy plants. (Based on finding the plants I bought from them years ago were infested with pests). For the most part the display Was miserable. The plants had been raised in a very cramped environment. They had broken leaves and uneven growth. But one stood out as the two flowers that were open looked very interesting. Lets just say I decided to ‘rescue’ it. Once home I removed a few broken and mangled leaves - setting three into a small pot of rooting medium. I will see how things develop after a month or so. Oh, yes - this plant is classed as a ‘standard’ in size. That is if all goes well it will grow to be about eight inches in diameter.
Once you start growing new plants from leaf cuttings, violets will take over your life, your house, your neighbors and relatives. Violets can make good gifts though not everybody wants to care for a plant that is felt by many to be ‘difficult’.
BE WARNED. (Said from the voice of experience - growing these things IS addictive). ;))) ATB!