Sunday, January 28, 2024

First Crocus Flowers!


I found crocuses in my yard yesterday. A beautiful sight! Click to enlarge.

To celebrate, the poem Hocus Pocus by Lilja Rogers: 

 "First, a howling blizzard woke us,

Then the rain came down to soak us,

And now before the eye can focus –

A second cluster! Beginning the days-to-spring countdown now at 51.


Sunday, January 21, 2024

Snow at Last!


A big snow storm happened here in South Jersey this week for the first time in a couple of years. Yay! Click to enlarge.

My street has become a path through the winter kingdom.

The trees have been sugared.

Jack Frost touched all of our lights!

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Snowdrops are Blooming


Snowdrops are blooming in my neighborhood again. They are, as usual, the first flowers of the year. Click to enlarge.

It's not easy for a flower to bloom here in January. Snowdrops have strong leaf tips that let them push up through frozen soil and snow. They produce proteins that act like biological antifreeze to keep their sap from freezing.

They usually reproduce asexually from bulbs dividing underground. Too cold for bees? No problem. Although later in snowdrop season I usually do see insects around them.

Snowdrops are also called Candlemas bells for blooming around the time of the Christian feast of Candlemas on February 2nd. This year, again, they are on schedule. We are sure to have more cold weather. But if the snowdrops are here -- can spring be far away?

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Creature of the Year Award 2023


Congratulations to the winner of the 2023 Urban Wildlife Guide Creature of the Year Award, the common buckeye butterfly! This false-eye-flashing beauty was featured in October's "Buckeye Butterflies" blog. Click on this sentence to revisit that blog. Take a bow, tricky butterfly! Click on the photo to enlarge.

In the event that buckeye butterfly is unable to fulfill the duties of creature-of-the-year, the first runner up, juicy delicious New Jersey peaches, will step in. This is the first time in the history of the contest that a fruit has been chosen (or should we say picked?). Click here to visit the peach blog.

In closing, we wish to honor the 2023 passing of Chase T. Cat. She was among the best of tabbies. We miss her.