Summer is here and who isn't excited about that! School is pretty much over in Central New York and most high school graduations will be coming up in the next week or so. Families are so excited! Let the parties and celebrating begin! Good luck to all those graduating this year including my grandniece in Niagara Falls, Julia!
The northeast certainly had a crazy and cold spring. We left for Florida the end of February and we were having a warm spell here in the northeast so I thought for sure we were going to have an early spring. Well, that never happened. Usually when that happens I'm not as excited about going to Florida that time of year because then I'd be missing out on all the early spring flowers and also getting a head start on lawn and garden chores. I was wrong and winter returned to the northeast with a vengeance in March and continued for a few more months after that. Usually, when we're in Florida I'm anxious to start heading back the beginning of April, but I wasn't in any hurry this year.
When we returned to Central NY I was wondering if I missed any spring flowers blooming. Nope. All the spring blooming bulbs, perennials, and trees hadn't started yet. It was a very hard winter (I don't think I'll get many disagreements on that) and two of our spring flowering trees never bloomed: our Weeping Cherry and the Redbud. We have two Rose of Sharon shrubs that suffered quite a bit of damage as well. They have lots of leaves on them, but a lot of dead branches, too, that will have to be trimmed out.
|My son made this clever pail planter for me for Mother's Day! I love it!|
We have arrived! (Video of Canadian Geese on Lake Ontario by Ted Link)
This year we've had a nice spring. Not much rain and even though it's getting a little dry up here, the water level on Lake Ontario is still above the average height for this time of year. After all the damage from the high waters last year this is a relief. So many people, businesses and our State Parks had shoreline damage from last year's heavy rainfall.
Our perennial beds are looking pretty good. Still have to do the usual weeding, but not too bad. Our perennials and ground covers are well established now so they help in crowding out some of the weeds. We plant very few annuals. I like annuals, and they really add a boost of color to your spaces when the perennials are done blooming. Most perennials usually give a short burst of color for a few weeks and then they are done until the following year. The annuals will keep on awarding you with color, fragrance, and beauty for the rest of the season. If you have a lot of annuals in baskets or pots just remember to water them frequently on hot, windy days. Sometimes you might even have to water them twice a day.
|Bluebird on a wire|
We were lucky to have some Bluebirds nest in one of the birdhouses that Ted made several years ago. It's made out of PVC pipe. It's been very successful because the Tree Swallows have used it and in one of our other birdhouses there is a House Wren nesting. Ted got some great pictures of the Bluebirds.
|Baby Bluebird peaking out of the nest while the male bluebird watches over it.|
We also have Baltimore Orioles, Eastern Towhees, Great-crested Flycatchers, Wood Thrushes, and several other species visiting regularly.
|Male Baltimore Oriole|
Our surrounding farms are busy in the fields. They've been mowing the hay and their corn is coming up pretty much on schedule. It's still small but it should be "knee high by the 4th"! That means that the corn stalks should be up to your knees by the 4th of July. It will be quite a few more weeks after that until the corn is ready to be harvested.
|Female/immature Eastern Towhee (previously named Rufous-sided Towhee). |
The male of this species would have a black head.
And in case you didn't know, today, June 21st, 2018 is the Summer Solstice. Last night, here in Central/Northern New York, there was a bit of sunset glow in the northwest sky until at least 10pm. Here is some information on it: The Summer Solstice is Here: 6 Things to Know About the Longest Day of the Year
"Summer was on the way; Jem and I awaited it with impatience. Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the tree house; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape; but most of all summer was Dill."
~ Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird