April 5, 2009

Spring Arrives

Jared and I took a day trip today to our property because we were both missing the place. Jared had taken a day trip on March 14th when there was still a lot of snow on the ground, but I hadn't been up since New Years. The huge rain storm on Friday combined with the warm temperatures melting all the snow created major flooding of the rivers on our drive up. We saw many houses flooded, and the Irondale River was so high in Gooderham that many people stopped to take pictures.

It was such a beautiful, perfect early spring day. The sun was shining with only a few cloudy patches, and the birds were really happy to see us fill up their feeder. Most of the snow is gone now in the woods, except for a few patches here and there, and on northern slopes. There were lots of huge wet areas in some parts of the woods that created islands in the middle of ponds, but for the most part our property was well drained. We walked around a lot in the woods to different spots to check out what was going on, and to search for any antler sheds. We didn't find any antlers, but we were relieved that no new trees had fallen over from the wind storm yesterday and happy that our cabin had no damage. The mouse trap we left over the winter still had food in it so that is a good sign. We saw moose, grouse, deer and what we think were wolf tracks. We also heard a small pack of wolves howling nearby.

I took the opportunity to check out my gardens, especially the spring flowering bulbs. Every year I plant a whole bunch of bulbs, and it never fails that I always miss the crocus. This year started out the same, tons of new green shoots and in some cases buds that will open sometime this week, but nothing in full bloom. Until I went around to the side of our cabin towards the pathway to BrownTown and saw a glorious sight - Crocus 'Vanguard' almost popping open and completely gorgeous. This is definitely my favourite crocus variety and it brought a huge smile to my face. One of the flower buds was almost open, so I sneaked a peak by carefully opening the petals for some beautiful photographs. This crocus has silvery outer petals and the inner petals contrast with a lavender colour. The stamens are a breathtaking bright orange. Anyone who wants that burst of early spring colour should plant this crocus, and I guarantee they wouldn't be disappointed. My single and double snowdrops were blooming as well, and I would also highly recommend the double snowdrop Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno' as another gorgeous early spring bulb.

I did a bit of a spring cleanup in the campsite gardens, cutting back the ornamental grasses and perennials, and removing all the leaves and debris from the beds. The daffodils are coming up nicely but no sign yet of all the hundreds of grape hyacinths I planted last autumn. I was even surprised to see that the delphiniums I planted last summer had big healthy buds coming out of the soil - surprised because I was doubtful if they would survive since they can be finicky. I was also very happy to see about 6 flower buds on my Viburnum juddii, which is supposedly a zone 5 shrub. I can't wait until later in the spring when it blooms because the scent will be incredible.

It was a really fun day and I can't wait until the next time we go up!

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