Saturday, April 26, 2014

Some Signs of Spring Slowly Surfacing


Well, if you don't live in the Northeast United States you are probably already experiencing a glorious Spring. But here, in our area of the Country, we're just taking our time watching the grass grow. And anxiously (???) waiting for the first time we can cut our grass. Maybe some people aren't too anxious to have to get out there and mow, but who doesn't love the smell of fresh cut grass in the Spring. Still too wet here to mow, but the grass is greening up so get ready to start those mowers-

This would be a good time to go over your lawnmower: sharpen blades, adjust belts, check oil level, put in fresh gas, spark plugs, and make sure the battery is charged if it has one. And start them up to make sure everything is working. Here is a link for five tips for mowing your lawn: Spring-Green Proper Mowing Tips. See Tip Number 3 Mowing your Grass High- very important.

We do have some signs of spring that we waited for all winter- the red-winged blackbirds and robins are back, and some of the early spring bulbs and perennials are blooming, and the "peepers" are peeping.

Hostas peeking up
This is a good time here in the northeast to split-up some of your perennials that need dividing. If your perennial clumps are getting too large, or are not blooming as well as they used to, now would be the time to split them up: daylilies, hostas, phlox, bee balm, astilbes, ornamental grasses, and Siberian Irises. Wait until August to divide your bearded irises.

Foxglove rejuvenating. Be careful when weeding your gardens in early spring
because you could end up pulling up some perennials that look like weeds.

Here is a link with more information on dividing perennials that also includes lists of what and when to divide it: BHG Dividing Perennials

English Primroses that need dividing.
I will probably split up this clump when it is finished flowering.

Buds on climbing hydrangea
Ten Free Trees With a $10 Membership: With Earth Day this past week, one of my friends posted a link on Facebook to her blog post on Bubblews which featured a link to the Arbor Day Foundation. On the  Arbor Day webpage you enter your zip code and that will bring you to a page offering various selections of ten free trees for your Hardiness Zone with a six month membership. Thanks Ann Hilts Bailey for sharing this information. Here is a link to Ann's blog Bubblews Arbor Day Foundation
And here is the link to the Arbor Day Foundation Ten Free Tree Give Away: Arbor Day Foundation Free Tree Giveaway with Membership
There is a good selection of trees to choose from, too.

Migrating Birds on the Move: A few months ago I shared with you some information on our Derby Hill Migrating Bird Observatory in Mexico, New York. If you missed that post here is a link to it: Derby Hill Bird Observatory. The birds are now on the move. Here is a chart that is updated daily and posted on the Derby Hill Facebook page with statistics of the migrating raptors/hawks that fly through our area of Mexico, NY, off the eastern end of Lake Ontario. Note: this chart only includes the hawks and does not include other species of migrating birds passing through. While several of these raptors are the turkey vultures, look at the total numbers for the season, over 35,000,  and still several weeks left of the spring migration.

Here is Steve Kolbe's written report that was posted on Derby Hill Bird Observatory Facebook Page (if you are not on Facebook you probably can not open this link) for Friday, April 25, 2014:

Friday, April 25 Weather:
Fairly strong ESE for most of the day with eventual warming. Clear skies for a bit in the middle of the day with overcast early and late.

Raptor Observations:
A slow starter this morning that eventually turned into a very enjoyable flight. Birds got up and out over the Lake during the blue sky period, but were nice and low when the clouds returned.

Non-raptor Observations:
Five Sandhill Cranes (1,1,3), one Great Egret. A large swallow movement dominated by Tree and Barn but with all expected species involved occurred in the last few hours of the day.

Westerly winds, cool temperatures, clouds. Should be birds wanting to move after today's flight. Let's hope the precipitation holds off.

This report was very interesting to me because we've seen Sandhill Cranes in Florida, but have never seen them in New York. After researching the Sandhill Cranes on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology there are regional differences in Sandhill Cranes. I didn't realize it, but there are three various sizes of the Sandhill Cranes. "Lesser" Sandhill Cranes are the smallest and breed in the Arctic; the largest "Greater" Sandhill Crane breeds in the northern US; and the nonmigratory "Florida" Sandhill Cranes and a form of Sandhill Cranes that breed in central Canada are intermediate in size.

My husband, Ted, took the following two photos while we were in Florida earlier this season. These "Florida" Sandhill Cranes are somewhat used to being around people and live in the wet areas. They frequent the golf courses (as do the alligators and my husband). I'm just surprised to hear that there are larger Sandhill Cranes than these.

"Florida" Sandhill Cranes

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we sometimes did not taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
-Anne Bradstreet

Columbine sprouts. I never noticed the little leaf buds until I cropped this photo to enlarge it.

#Gardening  #Blogger  #MigratingBirds  #Nature  #SandhillCranes  #DerbyHill  #LawnmowerTips

Thanks for stopping by. 
Hope you enjoyed our spring photos!
Feel free to leave a comment~


  1. After just a few tiny weeks of Spring,I think,we in Florida have gone straight to Summer,but without the rain.AC is running full blast and I have to water the veggie garden everyday.I do miss the smell of the first time grass is cut,in the Spring.It always meant Summer was just around the corner.

    1. I think we were down there when you had spring. It wasn't really hot which was ok with me. That must be a lot of work for you having to water the veggie garden each day. I'm always amazed at your soil down there. It's just sand. And I'm surprised that anything at all will grow in it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You are ahead of us yet, even the foxglove looks larger. I never saw a baby Sandhill Crane. They are really cute. I could use a little FL sunshine though.

    1. I'm really surprised that we're ahead of you Donna, because I think we're closer to the hardiness zone 5. But my foxgloves are pretty protected around our pine trees, too.
      I was amazed the first time I ever saw the babies, too. I never would have thought that their color would be golden. And yes, you can always count on the Florida sunshine. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Another great job! Very informative! Thank you for this wonderful blog! I love it! :)

    1. Thanks Martha! I appreciate it. I'm so happy to share some of my knowledge of the area and wildlife with others, and I'm grateful that they take the time to read my blog post! It makes it all worthwhile.

  4. You can also see Sandhill Cranes locally at Montezuma National Wildlife refuge. There is usually a family or two seen around Carncross Road this time of year. In summer, the parents and their young adult children tend to congregate at Knox-Marsellus Marsh). I have seen up to 19 of the birds there at one time. In case you don't know where this marsh is, here is a link to some good directions (look under Puddler's Marsh, which is right next to Knox-Marsellus:

    1. Thank you for the information on where the Sandhill Cranes can be seen locally. I hope to publish this information in one of my upcoming blog issues for my readers.