Saturday, April 14, 2007

Here Comes the Sun

The spring and summer of 2006 was the beginning of a transition for our yard. We live on a 4 acre lot bounded by roads to the north and east, a neighbor (through some scrub and deciduous trees) to the south, and a deciduous woodlot to the west. In future posts I'll highlight our far-flung ideas, successes, and failures in our native-landscaping projects, but for the moment all that can wait. Today, even with an impending Nor'easter predicted to dump snow, sleet, and icy rain on us, I can happily know spring is really just around the corner.

The weather is set to turn dark and cold tomorrow, more fitting for mid-December than mid-April, so we took advantage of a relatively mild Saturday to prepare for the landscaping and gardening projects we're undertaking this year. Because it's still early in the season we didn't expect a to see what perennials were coming back from last year's plantings, so we were excited to see this columbine stretching through last year's oak leaves and some remaining snow.

Wild Columbine, Aquilegia canadensis. © Mike Powers 2007

We planted a group of three near our windows (where we also hang a hummingbird feeder), to provide a natural nectar source for the birds. On the selfish side, we're excited to watch hummingbirds feeding from something other than a glass jar and plastic base with phony yellow flowers. All three plants have significant growth, and are happily surviving, maybe even thriving, in spite of the remant snow and ice. We'll see how they weather this storm.

Not enough about birds in this post? Consider this: the genus name Aquilegia is from the Latin aquilinum, meaning "eagle like" (the spurs suggest the talons of an eagle). Also, the common name "columbine" is from the Latin columba, meaning "dove" (the petals allegedly suggest a ring of doves surrounding a fountain).

Post title credit: Here Comes the Sun (1969), The Beatles

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