Spring is finally here! The nurseries have plants and flowers to tempt us, the bulbs have been springing up in gardens everywhere, and trees and wildflowers are awakening from their winter sleep.
Where there were once bare limbs, flower buds and leaves are giving color to the tree lined roads and mountains.
Blossoms of pear and apple, vibrant redbud, quince, and crab apple, are brightening the formerly winter drab fields and woods.
The well-worn path I walk, to visit Charlotte the pig, is lined with colorful and tiny wildflowers that I never knew were there before! Mr. Green Jeans hasn’t mowed yet this year, letting all these tiny flowers emerge. Vibrant purples and yellows, lavenders and whites, form a colorful carpet in the midst of the many shades of greens of the wild grasses.
Since moving here, we no longer have the traditional “lawn” of suburbia, which I am thankful for. There is a multitude of native grasses, intermingled with purslane, plaintain, chickweed, ground ivy/creeping Charlie, speedwell, purple dead nettle, bluegrass, dandelions, crab grass, and more.
The creeping Charlie or ground ivy is what lines the walking path, and forms purple carpets under my lavender bush. Yellow buttercups are poking up out of the grass. They are so pretty but have no use that I can see, other than looks. The horses avoid eating them, so I know they are not palatable, unless dried in hay.
Yellow flowered wild mustard invades the fields, with carpets of purple dead nettle. While walking forest paths, you will find tiny wild violets everywhere. They are both pretty and edible.
My daughter and I are having fun identifying all the wildflowers emerging, and she is making lip balms and skin salves from foraging on our property.
I’ve been drinking dandelion and dead nettle tea. It’s really good dried as a loose leaf tea, with some dried mint and honey. Dandelion burgers and maybe some bread are next on the list to try! Don’t worry, we are leaving enough dandelions for the tiny bees- there are more than enough to share!
Books on wildflowers, herbal remedies, recipes, and the app PlantNet , have been invaluable in learning what grows right under our feet, along with local friends who are knowledgeable in what grows here.
I do caution you, to thoroughly research all wild plants before attempting to eat any! There are many lookalikes out there.
In my herb garden, my thyme and oregano are coming back, along with sage. The rosemary did not survive the previous winters, nor did my old lavender plants. So, I’ll be starting with new ones this year. I found some great varieties of lavender from Blue Ribbon Nursery in Broadway, and the new Otterbein Nursery in Raphine. I look forward to making lavender wands and syrups this summer.
Along with the flowers blooming everywhere, animal babies are also popping out! Friends have baby goats- so adorable! Calves and lambs can be seen in pastures everywhere.
Here at home, we are awaiting the hatching of some chicks in the incubator. At this writing, 2 days left till hatch! It’s always exciting to see who will emerge, and how many!
The Canada geese pair, Mama and Papa Goose, have returned again this year. They hatched 8 goslings a week or so ago. Papa Goose defends his pond against any other geese who try to land here. Sometimes the battles get very loud! He is a tough one, sometimes running off 3 or 4 at a time, while Mama Goose herds her babies close.
My hummingbird feeder is out, awaiting the return of the hummingbirds. Once they show up, I will put a few more feeders out. A flicker and a red bellied woodpecker also began frequenting the hummingbird feeders!
Outside my front door, the crook of my weeping cherry tree has a nesting mourning dove, with 2 little white eggs that should be hatching soon. That tree is always bird filled, because every morning I fill the bird feeders on my porch.
My driveway has been checked out by killdeer lately. They lay their eggs in the gravel, which is a good camouflage, but not the safest place. We are still checking for them!
Hopefully, the month of May is springing forth for you, with flowers and greenery, wherever you are reading our little paper.
All is well, and blooming, at Mountain Meadows this month……….