Nature Friday ~ May 15, 2020

Spring has finally been coaxed out of hiding though some elements have been slow to appear. That dang frost at the beginning of May really did a number on things effectively eliminating most fruit tree crops with all tree buds getting zapped. Recovery will take some time though sadly the fruit trees won’t. Three of the trees at the Ranch are just now beginning to emerge and expect them to fully recover with a spot of Summer arriving next week. I checked on a Canadian shrub rose and couldn’t decide if it had died or was just extra slow leafing out this year. Yesterday’s inspection showed there’s life, but a whole lot of pruning will be in its future. Again with the whiplash conditions Mother Nature, seriously?! Course it could be worse, last year this week we received snow so I guess I should count my blessings.

It’s Friday so that means we’re joining our friends, Rosy and her brothers in checking out what Mother Nature has been up to around Blogville. Be sure to check out their link, things are super pretty in the Pacific Northwest.

Our daily walks have provided such glorious sightings even if some of the flower displays are not their usual splendor. Still I think we managed to pick some lovely exhibits for why it’s important to get out there and check things out.

First off, we found some brilliant blue Prairie Flax on the side of a sidewalk. This charming re-seeder always brightens my day with its glorious color.


Isn’t it pretty?

Seems like some flowers are competing against one another for the prettiest award. One of my neighbors recently planted a beautiful Columbine. Quite the stunner, eh?


Because my garden is shaded much of the day due to large trees I’m a big fan of shady plants. While walking around yesterday, I came across a large bed of Lamium, also known as deed-nettle. I had to take it all in by lingering for several minutes. Look how it lites up even dark spots in a garden with its silvery-variegated foliage.


Poppies are beginning to emerge from their winter sleep, and I’ll confess, I’m a sucker for these Oriental beauties. Those crepe papery flowers just intrigue me and the large blooms make for a stunning appearance. The bees were in heaven checking them out.


Whenever Bleeding Heart appears, I realize what a beauty this spring entry is. For years, I didn’t have any success growing these perennials but since moving to this house, they seem to be making up for earlier failures. This year was a bonus appearance with a phantom Allium coming up in the middle of the Bleeding Heart. A two-fer!! Be still my beating heart. Still wondering where that Allium came from, since I didn’t plant it. Flower

Looks like we’re in for a beautiful weekend. Next week there’ll be a few days in the 90’s so the mutts and I hope to enjoy the more moderate temps while we can. Having one black dog, one with a double-coated fur coat and my own constitution that wilts in heat, we plan to enjoy it while we can. I hope you get out there and see what’s nature has been up to lately. And while you’re at it, enjoy the weekend!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday

86 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ May 15, 2020

    1. It’s been quite sporadic. One day glorious spring, the next day brutal winter. So weird- even for here where we’re used to wide fluctuations!

  1. We’re astonished how strong the flowers are, while it’s still furreezing outside. Your flowers are so beautiful. We love the Bleeding Heart, we have two now in our garden and they really growing fast😸Pawkisses for a Happy Sunday. Stay Safe Healthy and Yourselfie🙏🐾😽💞

  2. Poppies do not grow here – sadly. We are now halfway through Autumn and heading towards winter, and it is starting to get cold. Love your photographs, as always, but no flowers here I’m afraid. Many restrictions are lifted so we can get out and about ( with social distancing) again, which is good.

    1. I would think poppies would do well down under before the heat of summer (like here). Wish they lasted longer but alas, once they bloom and go to see, their foliage tends to wilt and do dormant. The poppy seeds however seem to look for placed to land and sink their roots. Two poppy plants in my garden have ‘naturalized’ in various spots from one end to the other. On a separate note, congrats on certain restrictions. Hope you all continue to stay safe.

    1. Thanks. When spring finally arrives here (and with it being so short) it can be quite lovely.

  3. We LOVE your poppies. Here in France we have nasturtiums galore because of the rain, lavender, rosemary and lemon thyme blooming along with a huge sage bush. Nice to meet you. I don’t know that many doggies.

    1. Happy to meet you as well. Many thanks for swinging by our Ranch. I love nasturtiums and Rosemary but haven’t much success growing them. Lavender does well here tough because it’s so dry.

  4. You always find the prettiest flowers on your walks!! Have a great weekend, my friend! (I melt in the 90+-degree days, too, so fully understand!)

    1. Thank you…I try to engage with the dogs and our surroundings rather than checking our social media like most dog walkers do these days. I feel sad they’re missing out on some beautiful things…not to mention bonding time with their pets.

  5. I love the Columbine! They look like lilies. I’m not a fan of lilies (I’m allergic, they’re toxic to cats, I just don’t find them all that pretty or good-smelling) – but I love these. Yay for Spring (fingers crossed)!

    1. You’re so right, they have no scent. Our state flower is the Columbine but the light blue version. In the wild it’s particularly spectacular.Have a ‘pawsome’ spring weekend.

  6. Monika, the flowers out on your walk are so pretty and bursting with colour. It’s been raining for a few days here and I’ve pulled up with my cup of tea and muesli at my desk and they were such a wonderful way to start the day, as well as hearing your voice as usual through the written word.
    Hope you have a great weekend and I need to coax myself out for a walk soon.
    Best wishes,

    1. Our walks satisfy our exercise needs; while satisfying my need to look at the fine details at life around our ‘hood. Too many people wander around looking at their screens instead of what their dog has discovered which is infinitely more interesting. Hope a nice walk is in your near future-with your photographer’s eye, I know you’ll be well rewarded.

    1. Funny how that happens. We only got about 12 drops. Wish it’d rain more here.

  7. Such lovely flowers! I bet that allium self-sowed in a pot you brought in. They can take up to 5 years to form a bulb and bloom from seed. A nice surprise!

    1. It’s only been there for a couple of years. And well after the bleeding heart. There’s another self sower on the other side of the yard in the middle of no man’s land. So strange but I’m grateful to be the benefactor. 😊

  8. Beautiful flowers! I love bleeding heart too. That Columbine is s stunner. I’ve never seen one of those. The Allium is a perfect complement to the bleeding heart. I love it when something just shows up that you love. Just this spring, I found a wild Flame Azalea on the hill near my house – down in the woods. I was ecstatic, since I’ve been wanting one for years. I had planned to wait until a little later in the year and try to start a cutting from it. But, a couple of weeks later I notice that one of the limbs had broken off. I have it in some water and plan to see if I can root some cuttings. I know the areas I can get aren’t ideal for the process, but it can’t hurt to try.

  9. Speck-taculur fotoss Miss Monika! THE blue flowerss are breath takin!! Wee hope youss’ have a wunderfull weekend there! Iss only 50-ish here an still chilley wind….sum Sun butt dampy…maybee tomorrow will bee bettur!
    Have fun Elsa an Norman!!!
    **purrss** BellaDharma

  10. simply beautiful! I planted EVERYTHING on our balcony today (except for the marigold seeds), I have tomatoes, Columbine flowers, citronella geraniums and lime geraniums (I think one of my plants might be on it’s way “out” though), spearmint and Hens and chicks! Can’t wait for everything to start to REALLY grow!

  11. The blue flowers are delightful. We had beautiful Columbine one year but they were coveredin ants, same as Peonies. Neither one has a home with us any longer. Mom has a thing about ants so none can live anywhere near her. Oriental poppies are such delicate looking flowers.


    1. Hmm, have never seen nts in my Columbines but can understand your mum not wanting ants around. They can be a real pest. Funny thing about poppies-they may look delicate, but they are tough as nails and almost invasive in the right conditions.

    1. You got that right. And next week’s 90ºF temps will prove it. Not looking forward to that but welcome the color. I was really over the whole beige/brown spectrum.

            1. Am not a fan of hot temps. Not having much of a spring and now we’re moving straight to broil. Ugh 🥵

              1. I ain’t either. While everybody’s busy making sourdough bread (which you can EASILY buy in stores), I’m making all manner of chilled adult beverages. Because temps, people!

                1. Right on! I’m so sick of those millennial homesteaders! 🍺🍸🥃🧉🍹 Cheers, my friend!

                  1. In the event of a real emergency, they will be able to defend themselves with loaves the consistency of bricks, so there is that.

                    🍸? I would like you to meet 🍺. Now y’all get comfy tonight because we’re gonna have a fun evening!

                    1. LOL You sure got my number! Yeah I just want to bean those bread makers and their petulant kids in their HumVee sized strollers over the head with those loaves 😈

                    2. Bahahaha!

                      Why am I in the mood for croutons all of a sudden? Oh well, I’m sure it will pass after my first martini . . .

                    3. Martinis make starches irrelevant. At least they do around my house. Sugar on the other hand…give me a sweet treat along with a nice pour and color me in!

    1. You must have had a double batch of rain delivered….Nature’s extra-strength fertilizer.

    1. It is quite striking though I tend to be partial to the state flower Columbine which is a beautiful blue color.

  12. Oh my these just jump right off the page. Beautiful.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend, my friend. Scritches to the pups. ♥

    1. Thanks, Sandee. A little color sure boosts one’s disposition rather nicely, doesn’t it?

  13. Gorgeous flowers! We’ve had some whiplash weather here too. Anyone who planted annuals for Mother’s Day lost them. Hopefully we are past that now but I’m not putting out my tomatoes until it’s consistently warm!

    1. I learned to wait until well after Mother’s Day around here before planting. The past 3 years we’ve had snow Mother’s Day week and in fact, received about 4 inches of the white stuff last May 17th.

  14. your poppies are so pretty, well all of them are. I love bleeding hearts.
    looks like not much can survive over here, our soil must be pretty bad. There are next to zero flowers in our neighborhood of over a thousand homes. One person planted tulips and they died after two days this spring. Sad. I miss all my pretties back in MD. I can grow some things in pots as annuals but not much available yet, and we had snow last year in June so I’m not rushing into planting. I did see a couple hanging baskets here after mother’s day so that’s adding a tiny bit of color. Thanks for the tour… love to you all at the ranch

    1. Suburbs tend to favor wide swaths of turf grass, a few shrubs, a tree or two and maybe, depending on the neighborhood, ornamental grass. In some areas, they homeowners’ associations forbid removal of turf grass areas. Stupid, right? Poppies are pretty pops of color, too bad they don’t last all summer. I’ve noticed the big big stores have limited their selection of perennials and annual to the old standbys. B-O-R-I-N-G. Even the petunias only come in a few colors now days.

  15. Those are some gorgeous flowers, Monika! I adore the Prairie Flax. Little spots of joy. That Columbine is quite the show-off, too. The papery petals of the Poppies are stunning. Waaahhh… Now I miss my bleeding hearts from my last house!
    Mind you, I am discovering what I DO have, which is not much, but still. Am trying to pay attention to where the sun shines and doesn’t so that I can eventually plant appropriately. All I know is, my front lawn is pitiful. The grass does not grow, or barely – so I want to plant ground covers that will not require mowing at all. I’ll have to find my green thumb. It has been dormant for, well, ever.

    1. I’m sure in no time you’ll have some perfect replacements in the new yard in no time. I spent several years removing the turf in favor of perennials and ground covers. So much easier to maintain and far more interesting to look at. You should definitely plant some bleeding heart in a nice shaded spot. A garden just isn’t the same without them! Happy gardening.

      1. Oh… it’s gonna take time. I love what others do and I try to be inspired by them. It doesn’t come naturally to me, sadly. Oh yeah, I love the idea of waves of various ground covers with river rocks and such delineating. I’ll look for the garden that inspires me and send ya a pic 😉
        Definitely will be planting those!

        1. It took a few years for mine to be where it is now. Creating these beautiful spaces is hard labor. But so worth it! P.S. LOVED those photos! You’ll be a big hit on the block!

          1. Well, I just got here, have just discovered my sweet little tulips and for the first time, I have daffodils! The rest will definitely be a labour of love.
            Isn’t that just the most fantastic garden, ever?

    1. Wow, can’t believe that! I used to love entering the Autobahn and seeing wide swaths of red poppies.

Feel free to bark your thoughts...but no growling please.

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