Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hawk watch

Friday after the front moved through the temps fell from 75F down to low 50s in no time. The winds were, to say the least, brisk. Through it all the resident redtail hawk kept a keen lookout for lunch.

Just has I took the top pic, she spied a squirrel in the dogwood. I (through no skill of my own) caught her launching herself off of the arbor. If you click on the pic and then magnify the shot, you'll see that her eyes are steady on the prize while the wings are blurred in flight. Pretty cool, no?

It's been a week of roller coaster weather again. Saturday it only got up to 43 with steady winds of 25+ with gusts over 40! All day then through the night. It's settled down quite a bit today with NW winds at 10-15 instead. This morning it was 33. The day hasn't gotten much warmer, it being 47 right now. Tonight it will plummet to 32 (which means here it will get to 27 or so). The bird bath will be frozen over tomorrow, that's for sure.

But before the temps headed south, a lots of good things happened this week: There are an abundance of toads out and about. While weeding I was startled several times when they hopped out at me. (Boo!) LOL And despite the awful cold and wind, my 2-year-old clematis is displaying some big blue flowers.

Meanwhile, the ring bed is sporting quite a few plants I wintersowed last year:

asters, 4 kinds of milkweed, 2 kinds of Joe Pye weed, butterfly bushes, lavenders, lots of echinacea tennesseensis, blue flax, white balloon flower. I'm also going to have quite a display of foxgloves (goody goody!).

Oh, and lets not forget a bee fave - lavender hyssop. All of them have come back. Those things are so covered all season that I think the bees are in the seeds!

I just hope tonight's freeze doesn't doesn't do too much damage. My poor babies....

(Monday morning update: Yep, it's 30F out there and the birds are skating across the birdbath.)
(P.S. The squirrel made good his escape yesterday.)


  1. Cool photos! Is that a golf course behind the trees?

    Our weather had been nice briefly, but is now almost as cold as yours. It got down to 37 the other evening. The highs all week are to be in the 50s with a 60 or 2 thrown in. The wind is so cold!

    I planted several kinds of milkweed in the last week, too.

    Here's hoping for a warm up!

  2. Hi Sue :-D

    My milkweed didn't bloom last year (first year WS plants). Hope both of us get to see them bloom this year. I know the monarchs love the leaves, but the bees are supposed to really love the flowers.

    I had to wear hat and gloves going out today. *whine* Hope it warms up soon for us!

    Yes, that is a golf course back there. That's why I planted all those pine trees and yews. Too many of the golfers insist on playing from my yard. :-(

  3. Great pictures of the hawk! Your weather sounds like how ours had been up until a few days ago, it felt like winter.
    Sounds like you have lots of things growing that the bees and butterflies will love.

  4. I forgot to mention I had some common milkweed come up in my front curb bed last year, and it didn't bloom, either. It is coming up well now, and I am thinking it will probably bloom. I'm going to have to deadhead it so my neighbors don't complain. I may go ahead and let seeds form in one or two pods so I can plant some in the back. First, I'll make sure I can handle what's in front, because this kind can be invasive. I've never grown it before.

  5. Hello Catherine! With the extra warm, extra early spring this year, it's such a shock to us when the temps fall back to 'real' seasonal for this time of year. Haha. Our 'last frost' date can be as late as the 20th, so I'm trying to be patient. LOL

    Sue - the milkweeds (my first try at growing them) are at the north end of the ring. So this year I'll re-introduce the horsemint and spotted balms at the south end for the giant wasps, etc. Maybe this year some of the monarch eggs will survive them...

  6. Are we sure the hawk's not aiming for you in that picture?!??!

    We had the frost here as well last nite. I made sure to go out and cover up as much stuff as I could with overturned nursery pots, rubbermaid tubs, etc. My two shorter asian pear trees, both with a handful of fruits on them, had either deck chairs back to back surrounding one, and a tomato cage over the other, and then they both had tarps tossed over. I'm sure the neighbors think I'm a freak!

    At least we're not scheduled for any more freezing temps. My parents and friends in NY woke up to snow Sunday morning, and then a freeze last nite, and are expecting more of the same tonite!

  7. It seems to be a year of late frosts all over. If I had any seedlings planted out I would be worried, but lack of time to sow any means that I'm saved. Good that your plants made it through the winter - you must have been watching anxiously for them coming through.

  8. Jeph - I'm waaay too fast for a hawk. LOL

    Linda - I think our annual 'late frost' was on the 5/10 instead of the usual 5/18 this month. I'm happy I'm getting a longer growing season this year! As for my WS perennials from last year, I'm pleasantly surprised. Most all has come back with the exceptions of the perennial blue salvia and the "Apricot Sprite" hyssops. This year I'll be able to see the new perennials bloom in natural time. Last year newly-sown plants either don't bloom at all or were early or late.

    But late or early, all are welcome! :-D


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