Saturday, March 22, 2014

First Signs of Spring in the Blue Ridge 2014

This winter is really starting to feel like it will never end.  We've had a few nice days in between the snow, ice and polar vortex cold and i took advantage of them and went out looking for signs of spring.

Coltsfood is always one of the first wildflowers to come up.  It lines the sides of road in the spring along with dandelions, chicory, and touch-me-nots. These two little blossoms were just beginning to open. Once they fully open they are often mistaken for dandelions.

Spotting the first butterfly of spring is always a beautiful moment! This little Eastern comma seemed as curious of me as i was of her.  i was following her, but the way she kept circling around i think she may have been following me.

She would stop just a few feet away, and open and close her wings.  She sat perfectly until i got my picture and then she disappeared into the woods.

Catnip is coming up all over the garden! i've already transferred a couple into pot (yes, i actually got to play in the dirt!) and i'll have to dig the rest before the garden gets tilled. Catnip makes the most fabulous tea. It's in the mint family and is a natural sedative.

One of the biggest sign that spring is coming! My hens have started laying again! Most of my hens,are new and were not laying yet last summer.  None of my birds laid over the winter, so we've been waiting for the new birds to begin laying.  In just the last couple weeks they have begun to lay regularly. 

So this isn't really a sign of spring, it is more a sign that winter isn't done quite yet.  It's a black swallowtail chrysalis.  We raised the little black swallowtail caterpillar in our carrot bed, and watched it transform into this chrysalis. It has spent the winter snug inside, and is waiting for the perfect spring day to emerge. Hopefully we'll get to witness it, and i'll share a picture on my next signs of spring post. 

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


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