Monday, March 19, 2012—Early Blooms and Pileated Woodpeckers

Kay and I spent the latter part of winter in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, but there was no need to escape the cold here at home; temperatures were and remain unseasonably warm.  IMG_2526Consequently, trees are already leafing out and wildflowers are blooming almost a month early.  As I walked out the front door to take some photos of the blooms, I noticed that the dogwood tree in the “circle” bed had begun to bloom;IMG_2529 it normally blooms about April 15.  Along the road from the highway to our house, there are many wildflowers, and my favorite is the columbine, and it bloomed today—can you believe it!  We constantly monitor the columbines to detect their bloom, and were surprised a few days ago when we noticed buds appearing on the plants.  By tomorrow, they will be bursting with their subtle reds and yellows.

There were also other wildflowers blooming, many dogwood trees are beginning to bloom, and our azaleas will bloom in the next day or two—all several weeks early.  We hope this doesn’t portend a bad freeze, wet spring with flooding, or hot summer.IMG_2528

The birds are also beginning to appear regularly at the feeders.  Our neighbor, Bill, and I noticed a tom turkey strutting yesterday about 75 yards from the house, and a couple of days ago I was able to snap this photograph of a pileated woodpecker picking up pieces of suet dropped by other birds. 

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