You wouldn’t know it, from the low temperatures, incessant cloudiness, and persistent drizzle, but yes, it’s spring, and a few brave flowers have shown up. And a few birds have successfully reproduced despite freezing temperatures. But quite a few birds have unfortunately been unsuccessful this year. One person reported seeing bluebird eggs frozen to the bottom of the nest box, due to extreme low temperatures and lack of insulative material with which to construct nests. I think we have gone beyond normal and are verging on an abnormally cold spring now. This summer is looking shorter and shorter. My peonies still haven’t gotten bigger than the size of a dime. OK, enough complaining. The winners of “it’s spring!” are:
I wish I could say this was growing in my backyard, but this lady slipper orchid was found at the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in Minneapolis. These are rare in the wild, but grow well in other people’s backyards.
Wild lupine used to be very common. Its decline is linked to the disappearance of the Karner Blue butterfly, since it is the only host plant for the caterpillar.
Dame’s Rocket is an introduced plant, and it can become weedy. But its fragrant magenta and white flowers are a welcome sight in grassy meadows and forest edges.
This Canada Goose nest was high enough to avoid the flooding that washed out nests of other geese. A cold, rainy May was hard on many early-nesting birds.
This bunch of goslings looks well tended by protective parents.