Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday Foto Friends

Today I'm joining Deb for Friday Foto Friends. Come join us and share your photos!

Earlier this week, the weather was beautiful - in the upper 50s. Some places nearby hit 60. We were pretty close to that.

The weather this weekend, however, is supposed to drop about 30 degrees and there's a significant amount of snow forecasted.

Thought I'd capture some of the early spring signs before they are covered up with snow. Who knows, with the warm temperatures, the snow may not be around for very long.

I put out some birdseed on Wednesday morning after seeing a male cardinal at the feeder. Much to my surprise, later in the day there were honeybees at the feeder. I've never seen that before.

I'm not sure what the honeybees were finding in the bird seed.

In the backyard, the apple tree has some buds on it. It's a blurry picture, but many of the buds are starting to emerge. This is way too early in Minnesota.

Near the pine trees on the east side of the backyard, there are patches of moss.

The lilacs are starting to bud. Again, this is way too early in the season for this to be happening.

Bailey, looks out from the barn. It's rather muddy out there. Yet, this weather is perfect for her to gallop around the pasture and kick up her legs. She and her companion, Hoss, even roll in the mud sometimes.

Interestingly, the strawberries didn't all turn brown this winter. I'm not sure why - or how - the leaves could remain green in sub-zero weather.

The Northern Magnolia Tree is even further along with its buds. In the spring, this shrub/tree is covered with white blossoms that are very fragrant.

Looking west, the pond is completely open now. No more ice or snow cover. Am hoping that ducks or geese spend more time in the pond this spring...perhaps even raise a family here.

In the front yard, next to the culvert, a tiny bit of snow remains.

More typically seen now are grass and patches of mud...often with dog prints in them.

The birds perch in the trees. This one is in the other apple tree in the backyard.

The black-capped chickadees are frequent visitors to the bird feeder.

Four of the gardens are waiting to be planted. One has some strawberries in it. Otherwise, the gardens are planted with transplants and seeds.

There are three more gardens. These are the closest spots to the house that still get full sunlight. The longer we've lived here, the taller the trees have become. What used to be sunny, now is shady. There isn't as much space near by that we can use for gardening.

The squirrels have been busy this winter de-barking some of the limbs of the trees. This one - for some reason - they chose to de-bark the entire trunk of the tree.

The east part of the backyard has pine trees that we planted. The first one - to the far left of the photo - was one that was already here in 1995 - when we moved into the home. It was probably no more than a couple of feet high...three at the most.

It now towers high above us and is as tall as the other pine trees that we had transplanted around 1999 or 2000. Those evergreens were about 10-12 feet tall at the time. They are easily double that in height now.

A few years ago, we planted some 1' tall seedlings in the front yard with the goal of eventually blocking the view of the road. These type of trees grow more like cylinders than Christmas-tree shaped, so they can be planted closer together.

The west pasture has limited growth at this point in the year. Nonetheless, the horses go out and look for food to eat. They also are fed hay and grain.

At this point, there are no flowers blooming yet. Next month some of the early flowers may start to emerge.

It definitely feels like spring even though we are still in the middle of winter. Never in my life would I imagine that February would look like this. Gone are the winters when snow would be drifted high and be tall enough to make snow caves out of - complete with rooms and tunnels that my sister, brother, and I used to make in the backyard off the lake.

At least I have those memories which I hold onto dearly and enjoy revisiting every now and then.


Sylvia said...

Lovely photo's. Yes, the weather is so usually cold one day and warm the next. Our plants don't know if to sleep or wake up. I have two nieces that live in Minnesota, I've only been there once and it was in February and I remember it was 15 degrees...brrrrrrrr cold!

Debbie Huffaker said...

Great fotos... we were thinking along the same lines today with our weather related blooms and buds. The entire Eastern US must be having a lot the same really odd winter weather. We're supposed to get colder Temps this weekend, too. Thanks so much for sharing and linking up today. Enjoy your weekend!

Mary Hutchins said...

We have had very few really cold days in my part if the world. Hard to believe we've been having temps in the 80's. Enjoyed your photo's, looks like the plants are ready to bloom. I hope the snow that's coming doesn't damage all the buds. Enjoyed visiting, hope you have a good day.

Pam Kaufman said...

It has been unseasonably warm in Michigan too and, while enjoyable, I too worry if this warmth has been good for the plants and trees. I have also noticed honeybees at our feeders too and wonder what it is that attracts them. Definitely another strange winter.

Cathy said...

I especially love your chickadee picture.

bettyl-NZ said...

These are stunning bits of winter/spring scenery! Sometimes, it's hard to tell what season it is from one day to the next :)

Jedidja said...

Great photos. I love to see that apple tree with some buds on it.