I once wrote on this blog that in Seattle, spring begins in February. Not this year. Though it has warmed and the sun has appeared often in the last few days, we just finished the coldest Seattle winter since 1985. We didn’t have much bitter cold; it never got below the low 20s, but we didn’t get any warm spells either. Along with almost incessant rain in February and the first half of March, we got a second round of lowland snow. Thankfully, it melted quickly.
It was actually quite beautiful for a couple of hours before the snow turned to rain.
Remember the rabbit? I found one of its little shelters in a plant bed.
The great blue heron (Ardea herodias) rookery is active again in the woods north of the Sierra redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in section D. In recent years there have been fewer herons nesting.
Their croaking, shrieking, roaring vocalizations startle me no matter how many times I hear them, and judging by the flinching reactions of people passing by, it seems to be a primal, involuntary and universal response we have to something that sounds loud, big and ferocious, especially if it is nearby, out of sight and possibly coming our way.
In and around the garden, the plants are waking up and this is a great time to see their resilience in action as they begin to grow again while the dead and faded aerial parts from last year linger. Any garden in a temperate zone looks a bit bedraggled in winter. Let’s call it garden bedhead. The previous year’s growth can look somewhat ratty on the herbaceous plants, but I leave it up all winter as natural habitat for the garden insects. If you were to break off a dead, winter stalk and bring it inside, you would likely see all sorts of little creatures crawling out of its nooks and crannies, ready for action. Of course that would be a mean trick to pull on them. They have a job to do outside when the weather warms up, not in a heated building in winter.
It’s a bit early for the ‘official’ viewing season but this is a great time to see the garden without being overwhelmed. The few green leaves, swelling buds and blooming flowers all stand out as they won’t in another month.