Sunday, March 16, 2014

Harbingers of Spring

(här′bĭn-jər)  One that indicates or foreshadows what is to 

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.... 
(be sure to visit Les!)
Randy says these are most likely Southern Chorus Frogs, thanks Randy!

©Copyright 2014 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. I do like those fuzzy seed pods and frogs singing too. This link event sounds interesting, maybe I will do it one day.

  2. What an enjoyable little walk! I don't have to go far to find bitter cress and henbit, it's all over the beds in my back garden. We used to get Houstonia in our lawn when we lived in Massachusetts.

  3. Janet, really enjoyed this posting. The henbit and others were fun. The frogs are likely Southern Chorus Frogs, we have Upland Chorus Frogs here.

  4. I have henbit all over my yard & it's blooming. Loved your walk.

  5. I love the idea of documenting your winter walks...and spring has sprung for us, hasn't it? The winged elm is too cool--I don't know that I've seen the seed pods before. I think I'm going to try this when the rain moves along. Lately, when I've walked through our forest and garden, all I can do is make lists of the work that needs to be done. I need a pleasure walk. :-) Thanks for sharing, Janet!

  6. I am glad to find someone else agrees with me about winged elms. I do not like those trees at all as they are so prolific and not usually well grown since they grow everywhere. Lovely sounds of spring. I always adore frogs. The dogs look most happy!

  7. Janet, thanks for taking us along on your walk. What a lovely spot to live! And you have such a keen eye for beauty at every level. Enjoyed every bit of it.

  8. Beautiful froggy song! Thank you for sharing. What a lovely piece of the Earth you inhabit :)

  9. Love those froggies!! Thank you for the lovely walk. Not much happening here yet but I'm sure spring is going to arrive soon.

  10. We spend so much time berating bittercress and trying to eradicate it (a thankless task). It's kind of nice to see it from a different point of view. I'm with the dogs: slowing down a bit, but happy to take a walk with you.

  11. I just love all these signs of spring around your home. It is coming finally and it is so welcome this year.

  12. Janet, I feel honored to be included in the first post of the year for you. I am glad I am not the only one to appreciate henbit. I have driven by fields of it on the Eastern Shore and it is pause worthy, but I am sure the farmers might use other words to describe it. Thanks also for the frogs, I have not heard any here yet, but the turtles are out when the weather suites them. Today we were fortunate to only have bone-chilling cold rain and wind, and none of the snow the rest of Virginia got. Two steps forward, one step back.

  13. It certainly does look and sound like spring in your neck of the woods, Janet--thanks for taking us along on this walk! I confess to secretly enjoying the flowers of henbit, too, though all the creeping charlie I have not so much. How nice to be able to let the dogs run free on the road; even though we live in the country, the road past our house has so much traffic and such narrow shoulders that I can't even walk the dogs on a leash there. By the way, Frank, our pug, enjoyed the frog songs and tried to chime in:)

  14. You are so lucky to have such a beautiful place to walk and let your doggies run! I love the winged elm seed pods...I've never noticed them on my trees so I will have to be more observant. The frogs are surely a sign of spring! They have been lulling me to sleep for several days now. I'm am so ready to get into the swing of spring!

  15. Terrific walk and love the frogs...just don't know how you get any sleep with that racket! Love your attention to detail. The fern, Polystichum acrostichoides, is commonly called Christmas fern because it is an evergreen. New, fresh fronds should appear soon.

  16. Thank you Janet. Even though we live in the same neighborhood, I just don't notice all the wonders like you do. We really appreciate you sharing and are definitely looking forward to Spring!

  17. Gaia Gardener: has left a new comment on your post "Harbingers of Spring":

    We have the same chorus frogs singing here! They started about a week ago - I absolutely love hearing their songs, which were described to me as someone running their fingernail along the teeth of a comb. It's a perfect description. There's another chorus frog that will start singing in a couple weeks with a similar call, but the notes of the call ascend in pitch.

  18. Looks like a great road to walk or bike on -- wide, smooth. and no traffic or houses?

    1. Hi Ray, traffic. If there is a car coming you can hear it from at least a half mile away.

  19. Love this post! What a great walk with you. Spring is bursting. :-)

  20. Walks are always more fun with a dog. I loved seeing those spring blooms.

  21. Such familiar scenery! :o) My walk would include too many houses and speeding minivans. :( But it would be awesome to record a walk through a dogs eyes. I'm glad spring has arrived somewhere. Winter won't leave VA!

  22. What a wonderful walk and so many signs of spring. I am ready to get out and walk again in the state park. I was afrid of sliding into the ravines this winter and have not hiked. I am so out of shape. LOL! It will feel so good to get out for a hike in the warm sun when it gets here. I see a few of the maple trees here wanting to get buds but winter keeps hitting them and slowing them down. Soon.....

  23. You have such a nice place to walk! I love to see the light in the trees too.

    There are winged elms here but I have never noticed the seed pods.

  24. Oh I cannot wait for spring to be in full force Janet...a lovely walk!

  25. Hi everyone, a little 'housekeeping' thanks for all your comments. I enjoy our area, there are so few cars I can let the dogs wander a bit. We don't have a fenced yard (not supposed to with HOA rules) and no electric fencing either. I am outside with them (or at the door).


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