Sunday, March 16, 2014

Harbingers of Spring


(här′bĭn-jər)  One that indicates or foreshadows what is to come-thefreedictionary.com 

Some of you are still in the grips of old man winter, I am so sorry.  We are fully embracing spring in my little area of South Carolina. It is time for the Winter Walk-off, hosted by Les of A Tidewater Gardener. The rules are simple, walk and take pictures (though not of your garden) and link to Les' blog.  I have participated in Les' Winter Walk-off in 2013, 2012, and 2011. Most of my walks begin the same way...with the dogs and our long winding road. So let's get this show on the road....literally!


Here are my two companions getting ready for the walk.  As they have gotten older they are less interested in a long walk....


And would much rather enjoy a free run. Newton is 12 now and getting whiter around the muzzle.


Skyler is Mr. Energy, a 10 year old Australian Shepherd.  He loves to run and is seldom far away from his ball.


I love how the light plays through the woods.  It won't be too much longer and you won't see this far into the forest. 


Many of my previous Winter Walk-off posts have been wide views, so today, we are looking for those smaller signs or harbingers of spring, starting with the beautiful and much aligned, Henbit, Lamium amplexicaule. Such a pretty little flower, one I like seeing in landscape.


See the little polka dots? Who wouldn't love this little flower?


Mosses are putting out new lime green growth, water droplets hanging on each stem.


Another 'weed' with a sweet little flower, Bittercress, Cardamine hirsuta.


Many of you know the little Houstonia pusilla, some are white and some are blue.  My favorite harbinger of spring.



Earlier this winter when we took a walk after a snowfall (yes we got some as well!) this fern was peeking out of the cover of snow.  This time, it was hard to find, hiding with the other green growth. I am not a fern authority, so I will leave this guy unnamed for now.  Thanks to Marian we have a fern ID- Christmas fern, Polystichum acrostichoides. thanks Marian!



After seeing ground level signs it is time to look up, into the trees for signs of spring.
Cornus florida 'minarets' plumping up, ready to open


Maples in the woods, possibly Chalk Maple, Acer leucoderme,  sporting bright reddish pink blooms.


Pines putting forth new candles and emit a heavenly pine scent--nothing like the pine cleaners!


A tree I have been eyeballing for a while, trying to get a firm ID has its spring catkins. Final verdict, Cottonwood, Populus deltoides.


Almost a trash tree, Winged Elm, Ulmus alata, blooms early in our woods. Don't you love the fuzzy seedpods?


In addition to the sights and smells of spring, we have the sound of water rushing through the creeks/streams that feed our lake.  You can see the stream through the trees. 



One last sound of spring, the frogs singing their spring song. So I leave you with a small clip of the frogs searching for love.... 
Enjoy! 
(be sure to visit Les!)
Randy says these are most likely Southern Chorus Frogs, thanks Randy!

video





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