Nature Friday ~ March 22, 2019

Happy Friday! Spring officially arrived this week and despite the potential for more spring rain and snowstorms, just seeing it’s officially spring on the calendar now seems to have made a difference with our moods. We join our hosts, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard, for this week’s edition of the Nature Friday Blog Hop.

We’ve been seeing lots of spring bulbs teasing us that spring was on its way (only to be three weeks. With the official arrival of spring, something magical even occurred in our own garden. Yesterday I noticed a small flash of pale blue in some ground cover and thought maybe a wrapper had blown in and gotten stuck. To my surprise, some blue grape hyacinths planted a couple of seasons ago have started to naturalize amongst the Vinca. These little cuties known as Muscari come in shades of white, blue, and purple. They  are very easy to grow and aren’t the slightest bit fussy about soil conditions and will thrive in sun or light shady conditions. My original group was planted several feet south of where they were now and I was charmed to see how far they’ve migrated. I don’t mind another ‘caravan on the march’ and think the garden will be richer for these new additions. The buffet table was set for lunch and noticed the season’s first bees noshing away (bee is located on the back side of the tallest Muscari). Once the photos were downloaded, I also noticed the season’s first ladybug to the right near the shortest flower.

Muscari should be planted in early fall so moisture can nourish them before winter sets in. Plant in groups of ten or more, setting the bulbs twice as deep as they’re tall, and at least a couple of inches apart. Leaves will appear shortly after planting in the autumn but can be ignored. The flower spikes will arrive in spring when you most need to see colors other than tan and brown.


The crocuses are just starting in my garden but we’ve encountered numerous ones around the ‘hood. They are one of my favorite spring bulbs. the bees sure seem to enjoy them as much as I do, for different reasons. This little guy had sacks of pollen on his legs.

Crocuses should be planted in late summer to early fall and require a minimum of 15 weeks of chilling to break dormancy known as vernalization. Planting times differ from other species and for best results should be planted 6 to 8 weeks before the first expected frost allowing a sturdy root system to develop before going dormant. If soil consists of clay, amend with organic matter, plant 5 inches deep with the flat side down and around 1 to 2 inches apart.

Did you know that saffron comes from the saffron crocus bulbs (Crocus sativus), an autumn blooming crocus? The spice is the red stigmas of its flower. Each flower only produces three stigmas and each saffron crocus bulb will only produce one flower. Now you know why saffron threads are so pricy. You’re welcome.

As for seeing ladybugs, did you know seeing them is considered a sign of good luck? We hope that luck works with digital sightings as well. May the luck of ladybugs grace you and hope your weekend is filled with all good things.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

57 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ March 22, 2019

  1. Beautiful flowers! Crocuses are some of my favorites too and one flower that was sadly lacking in the gardens that came with our new home (we do have some hyacinths). I got some to plant last fall, and then discovered they were actually fall crocuses, which I didn’t even know was a thing! LOL

  2. Personally, I like ladybugs; but a lot of people commented on my FB page once that they “hated” them for one reason or another. Well, whatevvvvva. The hyacinths and crocuses (croci?) are such pretty little flowers.

    1. Spring seems to arrive just as our wits are frazzled enough after months of shivering and shoveling. It’ll be a good change. Or at least one that’s different. 😄

  3. Ladybugs originated in Asia. Whereas in the US we think of them as beneficial, in Japan they are considered a major pest and cause large scale infestations. This tidbit courtesy of the AJF.

    1. Wow, that’s interesting. I use the little buggers to polish off pesky aphids. They happily nosh on them.

  4. The crocuses always look as if they’re a painting. Absolutely beautiful!

    And you’re right about that whole first day of spring vibe.Just knowing you’ve walked through the door to springtime is good stuff.

    1. They are so stunning with their vibrant colors-one of my early spring favorites. Spring just reeks of hope, doesn’t it?

        1. Spring just makes for good mind/body movement from the sluggish mode of winter.

            1. Well let’s not get carried away now. 🤣i think I’d rather stick a red hot poke through my eye than run. I’ll walk all day, but running just ain’t for this chica.

                1. You actually get to see things around you as compared to only ‘seeing’ pain in your knees/feet when you’re running. At least in my experience. 😊

                    1. Especially with as many miles as I’ve got over you! 😇

  5. We gave a lovely batch of Grape Hyacinths in the front garden and lots of ladybirds in the back. Cherry blossoms are almost in full bloom in the back garden and the two in the front will be a few weeks behind. Bees will be buzzing very soon but chilly weekend ahead. Have a great weekend 🙂

  6. We are hunting everywhere for some spring flowers. No blooms yet, but we saw some daffies ready to burst open and our hyacinths are getting taller, no flowers yet though. Thanks for sharing yours.

    Woos – Lightning, Misty, and Timber

    1. Considering how much they’ve been repeatedly buried, I’m surprised at what’s come up so far. ‘Tis the season for hope. 😍

    1. Our have been buried under nearly a foot of snow too so don’t give up hope!

    1. Actually I love them too. My daughter had 3 growing up in high school. Fascinating creatures. Only downside is having to buy crickets as food source. It was a bit like having two pets. LOL

  7. Bees and ladybugs must be as impatient for spring to come as the rest of us.

    I wonder if I could make saffron.

    1. Or extra hungry from winter.

      You could harvest some if your crocus was the right variety and conditions are not too wet. Crocus don’t like ‘wet feet.’

    1. Indeed they are tough as old boots. The ones in my garden take a beating from lots of passing dogs.

  8. wow, so close but so far… nothing growing here. At least the snow is more sporadic piles now, not everywhere. No growth yet, but lots of bugs flying around. LOTS I almost had one up my nose this week. Really? bugs but no flowers as pay off for all the snow and now bugs? Come on Mama Nature… join us in the East of the West.

    1. I’m always surprised to see insects when it’s cold. We saw our first looming tulip this morning along the walk so I’m sure things will start waking up out east.

  9. It’s another cold and wet day here. We’re heading to the boat anyway. We’ll be warm and dry and that’s all we need.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend, my friend. ♥

  10. How wonderful! I can see grass in some parts of my own lawn! Yes, really! Right beside the 2-foot mountain created buy shoveling the walkway 😉
    Thank you for sharing your lovely spring flowers. They do perk up one’s emotions, don’t they?
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. They really do make all the difference a world of tan and brown. We saw our first red tulip this morning on our first walk and it gave me more optimism that better days are ahead. 🌷

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