IMG_9873.jpgAfter a prolonged and ugly flirtation, spring finally committed. The past days of sun, warmth, and breeze were accompanied by slow rain at night that we could hear through our bedroom window.  When we woke, sun again, breaking its way through morning clouds and mist. Perfect growing weather.IMG_9762


Pine buds (candles)

Not surprisingly, we had an explosion of growth.  IMG_9895.jpgSome leaves unfurled, others popped open.



(Thanks to the “New Hampshire Garden Solutions” blog (https://nhgardensolutions.wordpress.com/) for introducing me to the beauty of unfolding beech leaves.)


New poplar leaves in the sun


Newborn oak leaves


???Can anyone help out with this one???

Our flower palette leaned heavily, and a bit garishly, toward yellow and pink.


The tulip bud in the previous post unfurled.

IMG_9978IMG_9940I have never seen such a bumper crop of dandelions. The fields and lawns around us are covered, keeping our honey bees busy and dusted with yellow.  They left our blindingly brilliant azalea to the bumblebees, who shook and vibrated the whole bush so that it seemed to emit its own deep buzzing sound.  IMG_0004 Amidst all the pink and yellow, there were a few welcome splashes of white. IMG_9975IMG_9960The birds, of course, continued with their manic mating behavior.  I finally got a shot of the white-throated sparrow, whose haunting song followed us around the yard.IMG_9821.jpg At times, when he sang outside the window and it sounded as if he was inside with us. His song is supposed to sound like “Oh sweet Canada” or “Old Sam Peabody, Peabody.” Ours seldom stops with one “Canada” or “Peabody” and warbles an extra syllable or two at the end as if he wants to draw it out as long as possible.  The warblers are back–little, elusive, noisy, flitty things.


I managed to identify this fellow (by the yellow patch on his rump) as a yellow-rumped warbler.

This quaker-plain gray catbird brought me out of the house one morning with his amazing performance mimicking other birds in the yard and warbling through his own personal repertoire.IMG_9864We have a small brook down the street on one of our walk routes. A month ago I took this photo of a lone water strider. IMG_9595This week the striders were all paired up, making for interesting shadows on the sandy brook bottom. IMG_9952It must be strider mating season. The brookside horsetails and ferns always look slightly prehistoric to me.IMG_9962IMG_9965We’ve been working long days planting and getting beds ready for more planting.  IMG_9705We already had some little critter dig into a raised bed and shear off several chard plants. He left the leaves in his little exit hole, though.  I’m not sure if he intended to come back or if they weren’t to his taste.  I fear that he will not be the last garden intruder this year.  We saw a woodchuck this week.  Perhaps we need to lure our fox family back.


Hoping for orioles.

The farmers’ markets are starting up and I brought home this gorgeous white butter from our local water buffalo farm.  IMG_0023.jpg


Happy May.


42 thoughts on “Sprung

    • Thanks Judy. It’s hard to keep up with all the budding, blooming, and singing! As for Zoe, she’s our little doggy model and I never tire of photos of that face.

    • Thank you Peggy. It’s been a treat to watch spring unfold for the first time at our new place. The dandelions are enormous and quite beautiful. Now that we have bees, I really appreciate them. I’ll pass on your compliments to our Zoe.

  1. I love your garden! There are always interesting things happening there, and you are so observant to notice it all.

    • Thanks Kerri. This place provides ever-changing entertainment out our windows and in our yard. We really never need to leave! It’s such a pleasure to have the time to observe it all.

  2. Lovely post – words and photos – and great to hear what’s going on where you are Brenda. Spring has most definitely sprung. I haven’t seen white butter before – interesting. Have a good week x

    • Thanks Sam. I have come to love water buffalo milk products. We can get butter, cheese (buffalo mozzarella–mmm) and gelato from our local water buffalo farm. Who knew we’d find something like this in Maine? It’s mild and absolutely delicious (also very healthy). A good week to you too. I hope you manage to carve out a bit of leisure in all your business. Although the business sounds good too.

  3. I, too, love unfurling leaves and have been taking pictures of them this spring. Such a sweet picture of your dog buddy!

    • It’s funny, but the baby leaves have a similar appeal to newborn animals. There’s something about a little brand new miniature version of what’s to be that is so appealing. Liam and Zoe are a photogenic couple of pooches, aren’t they. Are you getting the same frigid wind over there today? Yowza. We even had a few snowflakes.

      • You are so right about baby leaves and baby animals. So new and appealing. As for yesterday…the cold wind blew so hard that the power flickered on and off many times, and Clif started a fire in the wood furnace. No snowflakes here, but son of a biscuit!

    • He had been elusive for so long, calling away, but dodging about in the trees. And then he came down and starting hopping around on the lawn, oblivious to me. He was a cutie.

  4. Thank you for a lovely spring fix. Pleased to hear it has finally arrived and I imagine you, the birds, the bees and all the plants are pleased too. I know that look in Zoe’s eye, she is saying “please play with me”

    • We had a frigid day yesterday but today is lovely again. Off to planting potatoes and playing with Zoe (you are right about that look in her eyes).

  5. A lovely selection of photos for spring. I love the sparrow and it’s interesting to see your other singing birds, too. My goodness – I can see what you mean about the daffodils – it’s honeybee heaven!

    • Thanks Wendy. All of the fields on our hillside are mobbed with dandelions this year and as far as I know, there is only one other hive in the vicinity. So my girls are feasting fine.

  6. I’ve been enjoying the lovely spring weather and all the unfurling leaves, too. I’m wondering if your mystery tree might be some kind of ash. It looks as though it has opposite leaves, which limits the possibilities to maple, ash, horsechestnut and some dogwoods. Do you know what kind of cherry tree you have blooming in the photo between the azalea and the dandelion seedhead?

    • I think you are correct on the mystery photo. The blackberry-like clusters at the base of the leaves look like photos of an American White Ash. Thank you Jean–you are now our tree expert after your course! As far as the white blossoms, I thought they were wild plum. They were not quite in the elongated wild cherry blossom form. We do have oodles of black and pin cherries here though. I’m not sure how to tell the difference.

  7. Forgive my tardy visit, Brenda. Garden season is way too crazy for me and I feel so behind! Things are looking wonderful at your place – I so envy your view. I love the shot of the clouds and of course, that one of Zoe is just so charming!

  8. I’m happy to have you visit any time Eliza! Isn’t this a manic time of year? I hardly know which way I’m going and barely have time for reading blogs. We probably took on a little too much this spring, but it is giving a head start on things that take time to get established (bees, orchard, asparagus, you get the idea). In another week or so we should be able to slow down a bit. We are so very lucky to have our view. We never expected to find a place with a view and now it’s an integral part of our lives. It’s not just a view, it’s the changing sky and weather that come into full display. I love it.

  9. What a lovely photo of Zoe! I did enjoy seeing all those young leaves unfurling, I wish I’d paid more attention to my Beech leaves now! You do have some lovely birds, I especially liked your sparrow. Here’s to your plants being unmolested!xxx

    • Our Zoe is a photogenic one–it’s hard to mess up her photos. The beech leaves are worth watching. I had no idea. But each stage of their unfurling is lovely–sticky-ish, feathery, fan-like, fascinating. One of my favorite things about blogging is getting a glimpse into other people’s everyday lives in different parts of the world. Some of our everyday birds look just like yours, a few have a family resemblance, and others are entirely different. As far as the garden, no further depredations, although we had an enormous raccoon pass through our baby orchard one evening that I scared away with my version of ululations.

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