Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Winter Walk-Off 2017, Spoiler Alert -- There are Snakes

Hard to believe it is that time again, time for the Winter Walk-Off, a blog meme sponsored by my friend Les at A Tidewater Gardener. The rules are the same as last year, and all previous years-- Powered under your own two feet, explore your area and photograph it. No photos of your own garden. Post your walk and link back to Les' blog. His post is here, so you can read the fine details. Participants have a chance to win one of two prizes. I can attest to the fact that the prizes are pretty nice. 

So on with our walk. Last year, well really a year ago Thanksgiving, we started walking. I mentioned my daily steps last year in my Walk-Off post.  Last year my daily goal was 11,000 steps a day. I increased my goal to 12,500 sometime this winter. A daily walk, regardless of the weather, is good for you. I am so glad we walk, though there are days where I am not as motivated as others. 

Our neighborhood street, heavy traffic

 As we walked today, I noticed how early all the trees are budding and some are blooming. This is the time of year where I like seeing the pears. The white blooms are pretty, but what a weedy, thorny, invasive, weak-wooded tree.

The Houstonia sp., Quaker Ladies or Little Bluets, are blooming now. We have a couple different varieties. H. caerulea and H. pusilla are the most common.

Such sweet little blooms

As I said, we walk, the 'we' being my husband and I with our dogs. This past October we got a new puppy, my husband is walking her in this photo. Liebling is a German Shepherd. She will be 6 months old on Thursday. To see more puppy pictures, check out my Flickr link on the sidebar.

Here she is with our older dog, Skyler. He is thirteen years old and still active. Today we walked to our neighborhood gazebo- a longer walk than what we have done since getting Liebling, about 4 miles round trip. 

More early bloomers are the vines native to our area, Carolina Jessamine, Gelsemium sempervirens. It usually blooms a month or so later.  

Another tree blooming is the Winged Elm, Ulmus alata. Rather a scruffy tree, but with the 'winged' appendages it is quite sculptural.  

I hadn't planned on taking photos for this post today until I encountered this little guy--
The warm weather has the frogs singing and the snakes emerging. This is the first snake of the season for us. All photos for this post were taken with my cell phone!

Brown Snake
Kind of scary looking right? Not really. He is tiny. Brown Snakes are not large snakes but good to have in the garden. With all the voles we have in our garden, I welcome each and every snake! To read more about the Brown Snake, this website has some great information- Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. After our photo shoot I moved him off the road so he won't have a mishap with a passing car.

See, not that big!
Hope you enjoyed our little stroll. Go over to A Tidewater Gardener to see where Les walked and the others who are joining the Winter Walk-Off 2017.

©Copyright 2017 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.